(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
Lack of possibility
1. impossibility, what can never be; hopelessness; impracticability, infeasibility, insuperability. Informal, no go. Slang, fat chance, Chinaman's chance, snowball's chance in hell.
2. impossible task, the impossible, what cannot be.
Verbs — have no chance; square the circle, skin a flint, make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, make bricks without straw, build castles in the air; bite off more than one can chew; be in two places at once; ask or cry for the moon, promise or give the moon. Slang, milk a duck.
Adjectives — impossible; absurd, contrary to reason (see absurdity); unreasonable, incredible (see doubt); visionary, inconceivable (see improbability); unimaginable, unthinkable, impracticable, impractical, unachievable, unfeasible, unworkable, insuperable, insurmountable; unattainable, unobtainable, out of reach; out of the question; desperate, hopeless; out of print; inaccessible, impassable, impervious, unnavigable, inextricable, ineluctable, etc. Slang, in a pig's eye.
Adverbs — impossibly, etc.; when hell freezes over, when pigs fly.
Phrases — pigs may fly, but they are very unlikely birds; tell it to the marines.
Quotations — Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities (Aristotle), The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer ( U. S. Armed Forces), Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast (Lewis Carroll), If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong (Arthur C. Clarke), To dream the impossible dream, to reach the unreachable star! (Joe Darion).
Antonyms, see possibility.
(Roget's IV) n.
Syn. hopelessness, unattainability, unreasonableness, contrariety, impracticality, unfeasibility, impracticability, difficulty, unlikelihood, failure, unworkability; see also futility .
Ant. probability*, feasibility, practicality.

English dictionary for students. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • impossibility — im·pos·si·bil·i·ty n pl ties 1: the quality or state of being impossible; also: the affirmative defense that something (as performance) is impossible 2: something impossible 3: impossibility of performance in this entry fac·tu·al impossibili …   Law dictionary

  • Impossibility — Im*pos si*bil i*ty, n.; pl. {Impossibilities}. [L. impossibilitas: cf. F. impossibilit[ e].] 1. The quality of being impossible; impracticability. [1913 Webster] They confound difficulty with impossibility. South. [1913 Webster] 2. An impossible… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • impossibility — [im päs΄ə bil′i tē] n. [OFr impossibilite < LL impossibilitas] 1. the fact or quality of being impossible 2. pl. impossibilities something impossible …   English World dictionary

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  • impossibility — That which, in the constitution and course of nature or the law, no person can do or perform. Impossibility is of the following several sorts: An act is physically impossible when it is contrary to the course of nature. Such an impossibility may… …   Black's law dictionary

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  • Impossibility — In contract law, impossibility is an excuse for the nonperformance of duties under a contract, based on a change in circumstances (or the discovery of preexisting circumstances), the nonoccurrence of which was an underlying assumption of the… …   Wikipedia

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  • impossibility — That which is impossible. See impossibility of performance; impossible; physical impossibility …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • impossibility — noun a) Something that is impossible. Meeting the deadline is an impossibility; there is no way we can be ready in time. b) The quality of being impossible …   Wiktionary

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