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passable

[pas-uh-buh l, pah-suh-] /ˈpæs ə bəl, ˈpɑ sə-/
adjective
1.
capable of being passed through, beyond, or over; fit to be traversed, penetrated, crossed, etc., as a road, forest, or stream.
2.
adequate; acceptable:
a passable knowledge of French.
3.
capable of being circulated legally or having a valid currency, as a coin.
4.
capable of being or liable to be ratified or enacted:
passable legislation.
Origin of passable
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English < Middle French; see pass, -able
Related forms
passableness, noun
unpassable, adjective
Can be confused
passable, passible.
Synonyms
2. presentable, respectable, allowable, tolerable, fair.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unpassable
Historical Examples
  • The crossing would have been laborsome for a horse; for an automobile it was unpassable.

  • It was a soul-stirring sight, and one of unpassable grandeur.

  • A day's march "through most unpassable rocks and cliffs" brought them to within sight of the island of San Juan at the east end.

  • But always there is a barrier between her and me; a barrier impalpable yet unpassable.

    The Red Symbol John Ironside
  • The unpassable danger of last night was only difficulty in the morning, and shakily and in fear he overcame it.

    Yonder Emily Hilda Young
  • And so they came to the swart arboreal precipice of the unpassable forest.

    The Book of Wonder Edward J. M. D. Plunkett, Lord Dunsany
  • It was a place among rocks, very steep, and unpassable for water.

  • There were sentries, but the night was dark, the marsh believed to be unpassable, the crossing carried out with stealthy skill.

    Foes Mary Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for unpassable

passable

/ˈpɑːsəbəl/
adjective
1.
adequate, fair, or acceptable: a passable speech
2.
(of an obstacle) capable of being passed or crossed
3.
(of currency) valid for general circulation
4.
(of a proposed law) able to be ratified or enacted
Derived Forms
passableness, noun
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 unpassable

passable

adj.

early 15c., "that may be crossed," from pass (v.) + -able, or from Old French passable "fordable, affording passage" (14c.). Sense of "tolerable" is first attested late 15c. Related: Passably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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