Impossible vs Unthinkable - What's the difference?

impossible | unthinkable |

As adjectives the difference between impossible and unthinkable

is that impossible is not possible; not able to be done or happen while unthinkable is incapable of being believed; incredible.

As a noun impossible

is an impossibility.



Alternative forms

* inpossible (obsolete)


(en adjective)
  • Not possible; not able to be done or happen.
  • * 1865 , (Lewis Carroll), (w, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
  • Nothing is impossible , only impassible.
  • * 13 March 1962 ,
  • Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-28, author=(Joris Luyendijk)
  • , volume=189, issue=3, page=21, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Our banks are out of control , passage=Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic […].  Until 2008 there was denial over what finance had become. When a series of bank failures made this impossible , there was widespread anger, leading to the public humiliation of symbolic figures.}}
  • (colloquial, of a person) Very difficult to deal with.
  • (math, dated) imaginary
  • impossible quantities, or imaginary numbers


    * (l) (rare)


    * (not able to be done or happen) possible, inevitable


    (en noun)
  • an impossibility
  • * Late 14th century': “Madame,” quod he, “this were an '''impossible !” — Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘The Franklin's Tale’, ''Canterbury Tales
  • Statistics

    * ----




    (en adjective)
  • Incapable of being believed; incredible.
  • Inconceivable or unimaginable; extremely improbable in a way that goes against common sense.
  • Nothing is unthinkable , nothing impossible to the balanced person, provided it comes out of the needs of life and is dedicated to life's further development -
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , date=October 23 , author=Tom Fordyce , title=2011 Rugby World Cup final: New Zealand 8-7 France , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=With 16 minutes left on the clock and the tension climbing through the roof, Trinh-Duc tried his luck with a penalty from just inside halfway only to push it wide, but the unthinkable now seemed a real possibility.}}


    * (EtymOnLine)