Meaning of IMPOSSIBLE in English

IMPOSSIBLE

I. adjective

COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES

an impossible dream (= about something that cannot happen )

Having a number one record had seemed an impossible dream.

an impossible position (= a very difficult situation )

She was furious with Guy for putting her in such an impossible position.

be hard/easy/impossible etc to please

She’s hard to please. Everything has to be perfect.

be impossible to judge

How much this affected their children was impossible to judge.

difficult/hard/impossible etc to credit

We found his statement hard to credit.

difficult/impossible to quantify

The damage caused to the tourist industry is difficult to quantify.

difficult/impossible/easy/possible etc to detect

impossible to resist

The urge to give him a hug was almost impossible to resist.

impossible (= very difficult )

I was in an impossible situation.

impossible

She may argue that the task is impossible.

impossible/overwhelming odds (= making success seem extremely unlikely )

They face impossible odds simply trying to get an education.

They face overwhelming odds in their struggle to preserve the park.

it is difficult/hard/impossible to exaggerate sth (= used to say that something cannot be made to seem more important etc than it already is )

It is difficult to exaggerate the strength of people’s feelings on this matter.

quite impossible

I’m sorry. That’s quite impossible .

render sb/sth impossible/harmless/unconscious etc

He was rendered almost speechless by the news.

The blow to his head was strong enough to render him unconscious.

seemingly impossible

We are attempting to do something that is seemingly impossible.

well-nigh impossible

It will be well-nigh impossible to raise that amount of money.

COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS

■ ADVERB

absolutely

Initially scheduled for Basingstoke on February 9, the trial was postponed when heavy snowfalls made travel absolutely impossible for many athletes.

Either he was insane and already suffering from hallucinations, or something absolutely impossible was happening.

Lee was on a downslope, and it seemed absolutely impossible for him to finish close.

almost

The discovery put the daughter in an almost impossible position.

Johnny Cooper thought it almost impossible that three men carrying only sixty small bombs between them had created such havoc and destruction.

When he sat down it was almost impossible to continue even a proforma debate.

If he had any lingering memories, which was almost impossible to credit, they would not match what he now encountered.

Apart from being almost impossible to cut, second hand shop windows are usually of inferior quality.

Like many doctors still, scientists find it almost impossible to take on the notion of psychic energy.

The public's trust that he truly represents them will be almost impossible to muster.

Mathematicians of the finest calibre were essential for what then seemed the almost impossible task of breaking a code with astronomical permutations.

nearly

Finding new staff is nearly impossible .

Wuhan was in an uproar when they arrived, its streets nearly impossible because of the mobs.

It was nearly impossible to get them to accept a surrender.

The accumulation of obligations made it nearly impossible for the children to pry loose from the entanglement.

Except in tourist hotels and restaurants, it is nearly impossible to pay with anything over a $ 5 note.

It is possible to find safe harbor but nearly impossible to do so without a few blow-ups.

It is difficult to accept such a change simply on intellectual grounds and nearly impossible to accept its implications.

There are long, loose episodes here that are nearly impossible to follow and probably should have been cut.

nigh

If the system makes too early a commitment on segmentation, recovery will be well nigh impossible . 4.2.2.3.

And everybody knew it was mighty nigh impossible to quit them.

But knowing is not doing, and many people find it well nigh impossible to kick the habit.

Undermanning can make the task nigh impossible on some estates; on the others the approach is far too casual.

The lieutenant was right: it would be nigh impossible to make everyone account for their movements.

I just found it really hard, y'know. Nigh impossible .

physically

They were just physically impossible to move in and out of the studios.

The illogical, unlikely and physically impossible are treated as natural phenomena.

His hypothesis, while unlikely, is neither logically nor physically impossible .

But he realized that this was physically impossible .

By the power of his imagination he was trying to do something that was physically impossible .

practically

It was hot in the thin corridor, and the hanging husks made going forwards practically impossible .

And it would be practically impossible to require a teacher to watch each student at all times.

The ground was frozen, and digging foundations was practically impossible in such drastic weather conditions.

These are a large number of possibilities and they would be practically impossible to distinguish by breeding experiments.

This would lead to a mixing of chemicals and cause explosions that together with flooding would make evacuation practically impossible .

Amongst black school leavers, finding a job is practically impossible .

This reversal would have been practically impossible under Gats.

quite

But why had nobody ever told her that it was quite impossible to keep clean whenever there were any children about?

Very unlikely, though perhaps not quite impossible .

Citrus shrubs are wonderfully fragrant evergreens, but quite impossible outdoors without protection.

And the Presbyterians are quite impossible .

It was purchased because the sound of the river made reaching him by any other means quite impossible .

Though it was still quite impossible to judge the scale of the picture, the camera was obviously seeing for miles.

Indeed it would have been quite impossible for it to have adopted any other attitude.

It would have been quite impossible to finish the book but for the computer program I had been given.

seemingly

However, the new minister on arrival soon found that he was faced with a seemingly impossible task.

Thick white branches arch as far out as the tree is tall, sometimes at seemingly impossible angles.

As far as motion video, in particular, is concerned, the constraints of available technology force multimedia into a seemingly impossible situation.

Sexually menacing and effeminately feral, he prowled cat-like across the stage, perching on amps and lights in seemingly impossible positions.

This is steering that manages the seemingly impossible: to be bad just about everywhere.

The measure of his heart is how he deals with adversity and the way he overcomes a seemingly impossible situation.

Not only a master, but a natural comedian, because he found humour in seemingly impossible situations.

The men can freelance, depend on their height to make seemingly impossible moves.

virtually

In reality, it was virtually impossible for the supporters of democracy to rally.

It was virtually impossible to live in the United States in the late 1960s without being exposed to the growing antiwar movement.

Just when it is vital to get policy on sterling right, the task has become virtually impossible .

In the hectic days of I 96 I, such exploratory care and effort were virtually impossible .

The position of the piece of gravel would have made it virtually impossible for the fish to dislodge it.

In fact, without some anxiety it would be virtually impossible to be productive.

Yet it is virtually impossible to think of a way in which they could be tested against one another.

Such appeals were virtually impossible before an order in April 1996 by now-Chief of Naval Operations Adm.

■ NOUN

dream

How long can you hang on to an impossible dream ?

Territory for peace is not an impossible dream .

Opponents to the listing see it as an expensive attempt at an impossible dream and a misuse of the Endangered Species Act.

It sounds like an impossible dream .

Was no one around to warn her this was an impossible dream ?

Even six months ago, that seemed an impossible dream , but now, who knows?

Unity now seems an impossible dream .

position

The discovery put the daughter in an almost impossible position .

Sexually menacing and effeminately feral, he prowled cat-like across the stage, perching on amps and lights in seemingly impossible positions .

She felt illogically furious with Guy for putting her in such an impossible position .

He imagined her screwed into some impossible position in her last spasm, her face looking grey and ugly on the pillow.

It would put them in an impossible position if a legally-binding Living Will demanded what they considered unethical or bad medical practice.

The council says it's in an impossible position .

We find ourselves in an impossible position .

situation

He was almost unbelieving of his impossible situation but on principle he didn't allow himself to feel jealous.

The measure of his heart is how he deals with adversity and the way he overcomes a seemingly impossible situation .

Clearly, it would put the practitioner in an impossible situation .

As far as motion video, in particular, is concerned, the constraints of available technology force multimedia into a seemingly impossible situation .

The point is of course that the puzzle itself is false in setting up an impossible situation .

Not only a master, but a natural comedian, because he found humour in seemingly impossible situations .

task

But was that really her fault - or was I presenting her with an impossible task ?

The market permits people to make decisions and to act without going through the impossible task of collecting all the relevant information.

This would not be an impossible task , given the state of information technology.

An impossible task , the priests told him.

It is of course an impossible task to examine the record of Marxism in such a short space as I have available.

Under the block-grant funding system, this was an almost impossible task .

With an empire of such a size, it was a difficult but not impossible task she had set herself.

Dropping a combined 76 tons in a city the size of Philadelphia is hardly an impossible task .

PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES

near perfect/impossible etc

Colin was fulsome in his praise of the role of finance directors in delivering a near impossible set of financial reforms.

Comets therefore tend to explode into vapor with near perfect efficiency and devastating power on impact.

Conclusions: The velvet cloth is a near perfect black, but more expensive and less readily available than the other materials.

In the latter case the specimen is of near perfect geometry for a torsion test.

In the main, larval control would have to be near perfect in its efficiency and to allow very few adults to survive.

So everything seemed okay: the barn was secure, the food supply was better than good and the terrain near perfect.

That doesn't stop Hedley from dreaming of owning a video store, even though it seems near impossible.

Unfortunately, strong winds curtailed the sport on a near perfect river level carrying about four inches extra, but fining off.

next to impossible/useless etc

As a waterproof it was next to useless.

But counting the dead is next to impossible.

But he quickly learned that at his age it was next to impossible to find a professional job in San Francisco.

Buying such a processor for less than $ 400 is next to impossible.

Further, genuine educational change in these settings is next to impossible given the logistical difficulty of just getting the staff together.

In the early months, this restraint was next to impossible for them to achieve.

physically possible/impossible

Also, it isn't physically possible to sit and listen to a rap album all the way through.

But he realized that this was physically impossible.

By the power of his imagination he was trying to do something that was physically impossible.

His hypothesis, while unlikely, is neither logically nor physically impossible.

The illogical, unlikely and physically impossible are treated as natural phenomena.

They were just physically impossible to move in and out of the studios.

EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES

""The police suspect John.'' ""But that's impossible . He was with us the whole day.''

an impossible task

Dan's impossible to live with when he's sick.

Her back injury has made it impossible for her to play tennis anymore.

It's a seemingly impossible task.

It was impossible that anyone could have survived the crash.

Many fear that peace is now impossible .

She's impossible ! Even when I offer to help her she always find some reason to complain.

Sometimes an abortion seems like the only way out of an impossible situation.

The street was narrow and it was impossible for the two buses to pass.

The twins are so alike that it's impossible to tell them apart.

We're supposed to do all this work by tomorrow, but it's impossible .

When people leave prison, they often find it impossible to get a job.

You're impossible !

EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS

Another non-solution is to sign a treaty and then forget about it in a few years or declare it impossible to achieve.

In the eighteenth century it seemed impossible to build a barn without creating a work of art.

It is impossible to take a complex problem and rationally unravel the mess into logical interacting pieces.

It is mathematically impossible for any Democratic rival to overhaul Clinton in the primary process.

It is possible to find safe harbor but nearly impossible to do so without a few blow-ups.

It was almost impossible to get some rest.

It was tough, tough work, but not impossible .

II. noun

COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS

■ VERB

make

Apparently, Clare was able to watch midnight mass from her death-bed, though many walls should have made this impossible .

Ellen persisted in trying to perform as directed, but her body decided to make the messages impossible to ignore.

EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS

Somehow without meaning to, she found that she had done the impossible for her: she had memorized that poem.

Longman DOCE5 Extras English vocabulary.      Дополнительный английский словарь Longman DOCE5.