Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not subject to suffering, pain, or harm.
  • adj. Unfeeling; impassive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Unable to suffer, or feel pain.
  • adj. Unable to feel emotion; impassive.
  • adj. Incapable of suffering injury or detriment.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Incapable of suffering; inaccessible to harm or pain; not to be touched or moved to passion or sympathy; unfeeling, or not showing feeling; without sensation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Incapable of suffering; insensible to pain or harm.
  • Not to be moved to passion or sympathy; having or exhibiting no emotion.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin impassibilis : in-, not; see in-1 + passibilis, passible; see passible.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French impassible. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Many streets on the city's south side were described as impassible, littered with downed trees and utility poles.

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  • Like space, like eternity, he is, in his own nature, as spirit, essentially impassible — impassible, that is, as related to force.

    Sermons for the New Life.

  • Now it was, it is clear, that the sword of sorrow pierced her through and through, for the Queen of martyrs was fearfully and mortally wounded in that part which is impassible, that is, in her soul; and she bore the death of the Cross in that which could not die, suffering all the more her grievous inward death, as outward death departed farther from her.

    Meditations on the Life and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • In the passage quoted, from the Library of America edition, there is one word that bears looking at: "impassible," referring to Robert E. Lee's face.

    languagehat.com: IMPASSIBLE.

  • Christ [Greek: apathês] ( "impassible") is essentially identical with the view set forth by Tertullian adv.

    History of Dogma, Volume 2 (of 7)

  • The firing direction points only to impassible tangles of mountain laurel and hummocky swamp behind my earth filled 55 gallon drums for backstop.

    Guns = "Unhealthy" Lifestyle?

  • Manaus, on the junction of the Rio Negro and the Solimoes, where both become the Amazon, is another example of the Brazilian machismo of dropping a city in the least likely place; in this case, a city of three million with only three roads -- frequently impassible -- connecting it to the rest of the country.

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  • The city's airport was shut down and many roads are impassible.

    New Zealand Earthquake Kills 65

  • The southwest Missouri city of Joplin saw widespread damage; city streets were reportedly impassible.

    Tornado Damage In Missouri And Minnesota (PHOTOS)

  • “Le bateau ivre” is a poem written by Arthur Rimbault in 1872, about a drunken boat carrying Flemish wheat or English cotton, no longer pulled by ropes and floating down impassible rivers, running into the furious breakers of the sea, dancing on the waves, lighter than a cork, bathing in the Poem of the Sea, nacrous waves, silver suns ... piercing the red skies …

    serment - French Word-A-Day

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