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[in-soo-per-uh-buh l] /ɪnˈsu pər ə bəl/
incapable of being passed over, overcome, or surmounted:
an insuperable barrier.
Origin of insuperable
1300-50; Middle English < Latin insuperābilis. See in-3, superable
Related forms
insuperability, insuperableness, noun
insuperably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for insuperable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The plan found an insuperable obstacle in the political conditions of the time.

  • This might be thought an insuperable objection; but it is not really so.

    The Science of Fairy Tales Edwin Sidney Hartland
  • With the information they had, Moses and Joshua may have believed that there were no insuperable difficulties.

  • And the objections of parents in such cases are not insuperable.

    Lady Bountiful George A. Birmingham
  • He went along the coast for a whole day and a night, passing around the reef which formed an insuperable barrier.

    Penguin Island Anatole France
  • Its fault—an insuperable one—is that it lacks fidelity to nature.

    A Black Adonis Linn Boyd Porter
  • It was all he needed to complete his plan; and it had seemed an insuperable bar.

    Two on the Trail Hulbert Footner
British Dictionary definitions for insuperable


/ɪnˈsuːpərəbəl; -prəbəl; -ˈsjuː-/
incapable of being overcome; insurmountable
Derived Forms
insuperability, insuperableness, noun
insuperably, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for insuperable

mid-14c., "unconquerable," from Latin insuperabilis "that cannot be passed over, unconquerable," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + superabilis "that may be overcome," from superare "to overcome," from superus "one that is above," from super "over" (see super-). Figurative use from 1650s. Related: Insuperably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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