Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From im- +‎ practicable.



impracticable (comparative more impracticable, superlative most impracticable)

  1. not practicable; impossible or difficult in practice
    Antonym: practicable
  2. (of a passage or road) impassable
  3. (obsolete, of a person or thing) unmanageable
    • 1713, Nicholas Rowe, The Fair Penitent[1], published 1797:
      And yet this tough impracticable heart / Is govern'd by a dainty-finger'd girl ; []
    • c. 1841, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks[2], published 1960, page 18:
      H. is a person of extraordinary health & vigor, of unerring perception, & equal expression; and yet he is impracticable, and does not flow through his pen or (in any of our legitimate aqueducts) through his tongue.

Derived terms[edit]



impracticable (plural impracticables)

  1. (obsolete) an unmanageable person
    • 1829, Henry Barkley Henderson, The Bengalee, or Sketches of Society and Manners in the East[3], page 13:
      They were not allowed, of course, to join us in the sitting room, partly that their practice might not be disturbed, but principally, that I was looked upon as an utter impracticable.
    • 1867, James Parton, Famous Americans of Recent Times[4], page 83:
      The strict constructionists had dwindled to a few impracticables, headed by John Randolph.
    • 1870, Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Clubs”, in Society and Solitude. Twelve Chapters, Boston, Mass.: Fields, Osgood, & Co., OCLC 926043624, page 208:
      Then there are the gladiators, to whom it is always a battle; 't is no matter on which side, they fight for victory; then the heady men, the egotists, the monotones, the steriles, and the impracticables.



  • IPA(key): /impɾaɡtiˈkable/, [ĩm.pɾaɣ̞.t̪iˈka.β̞le]


impracticable (plural impracticables)

  1. impracticable

Further reading[edit]