Dictonary.netDictonary.net
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Impossible   Listen
noun
Impossible  n.  An impossibility; as, he tried to do the impossible. (Obs.) ""Madam," quoth he, "this were an impossible!""






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Impossible" Quotes from Famous Books



... phenomenon, there was not in the firmament a space equal in extent to three diameters of the moon, which was not filled every instant with bolides and falling stars. The first were fewer in number, but as they were of different sizes, it was impossible to fix the limit between these two classes of phenomena. All these meteors left luminous traces from five to ten degrees in length, as often happens in the equinoctial regions. The phosphorescence of these traces, or ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America • Alexander von Humboldt

... barge, manned as this is, could not have journeyed such a distance in so short a time, and, indeed, for a flotilla to attempt the voyage, except in daylight, would have been impossible. No barges have come down the Rhine for months, and had they ventured the little Lahn is too ...
— The Sword Maker • Robert Barr

... ambassadors, who come to treat about doing what is right? And when such have been their actions, how is it possible they can either live securely in common life, or be successful in war? In my opinion, this is impossible; but perhaps some will say, that what is holy, and what is righteous, is indeed on our side, but that the Arabians are either more courageous or more numerous than we are. Now, as to this, in the first place, it is not fit for us ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... under the very nose of his too easy and unsuspecting partner. The manner of Mr Bellamy threw Michael off his guard. He walked so erect—looked upon every body so superciliously—spoke even to Allcraft in so high a tone, and with so patronizing an air, that it was quite impossible to suspect him of being any thing but real coin, a sound man, and worthy of all trust. It is certainly true that Mr Bellamy had not brought into the concern as he had engaged, some twenty, or forty thousand pounds—it does not matter which—but the reasons which he condescended ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV. • Various

... fatal consequences; for he said, to prove that you were Edward Beverley, you must declare that I and your sisters were in the forest with him, and this disclosure would put the whole family in the power of their bitterest enemies; and what would become of your sisters, it would be impossible to say, but most likely they would be put under the charge of some Puritan family who would have a pleasure in ill-treating and humiliating the daughters of such a man ...
— The Children of the New Forest • Captain Marryat

... public position, as was the case with all the early communities of Christians and Gnostics, have had like accusations brought against them. The communities of the Simonians and Christians may or may not have been impure, it is now impossible to pronounce a positive opinion. The important point to notice is that the accusations being identical and the evidence or want of evidence the same, condemnation or acquittal must be meted out to both; and that if one is condemned and the other acquitted, ...
— Simon Magus • George Robert Stow Mead

... celebrate this day. Washington is the mightiest name of earth long since mightiest in the cause of civil liberty, still mightiest in moral reformation. On that name no eulogy is expected. It cannot be. To add brightness to the sun or glory to the name of Washington is alike impossible. Let none attempt it. In solemn awe pronounce the name, and in its naked deathless splendor leave ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... the door. He was an elderly gentleman. He made to sweep by me; but I barred his way, and closed the editorial door behind me. He seemed surprised; but I told him it was impossible for him to see the editor that afternoon, and suggested his writing his business on a sheet of paper, which I handed to him for the purpose. I remained in that ante-room for half an hour, and during that time I ...
— Paul Kelver • Jerome Klapka, AKA Jerome K. Jerome

... And it came to pass that Teancum made preparations to make an attack upon the city of Mulek, and march forth with his army against the Lamanites; but he saw that it was impossible that he could overpower them while they were in their fortifications; therefore he abandoned his designs and returned again to the city Bountiful, to wait for the coming of Moroni, that he might ...
— The Book Of Mormon - An Account Written By The Hand Of Mormon Upon Plates Taken - From The Plates Of Nephi • Anonymous

... the Duchess. Then turning to Lothaw, she said: "You have simply fulfilled and accepted your inevitable destiny. It was morally impossible for you to marry out of this family. For the present, the Church ...
— The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales • Bret Harte

... Commander as officially coming through the observation post. Then the battery would open up. Afterwards, during the investigation, Cassell would swear he received it direct. They would have to believe him, because it was impossible from his post in the battery dugout to know that the road was being used at that time by the Germans. And also it was impossible for him to give the target, range, and degrees. You know a battery ...
— Over The Top • Arthur Guy Empey

... marksman, was now unable to hold the gun straight and although he got near them all his efforts proved fruitless. In passing through a small clump of pines we saw a flock of partridges, and he succeeded in killing one after firing several shots. We came in sight of the fort at dusk and it is impossible to describe our sensations when, on attaining the eminence that overlooks it, we beheld the smoke issuing from one of the chimneys. From not having met with any footsteps in the snow as we drew nigh our once cheerful residence ...
— The Journey to the Polar Sea • John Franklin

... suspiciousness, and uneasiness of the coach party here found relief in a half hysteric explosion of laughter, in which even the dogged Hiram and Sophy joined. It seemed as impossible to withstand the girl's invincible audacity as her beauty. She was quick to perceive her advantage, and, with a responsive laugh and a ...
— From Sand Hill to Pine • Bret Harte

... of the mental processes. Without the power of perceiving, recognizing resemblances, distinguishing differences in things, phenomena and notions, grouping them mentally according to those resemblances and differences, judgment is impossible, nor could reason be exercised in proceeding from the ...
— The Classification of Patents • United States Patent Office

... been everywhere received with the utmost kindness and cordiality. To the people of the city of New York, who have extended to us the hand of a generous fraternity, it is impossible to overrate our obligation ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Tyler - Section 2 (of 3) of Volume 4: John Tyler • Compiled by James D. Richardson

... high water was two and a half fathoms. The banks, which were in most parts thickly lined with mangroves, and in no part more than three feet above high-water mark, are formed of soft mud, which rendered landing, except at high water, impossible. The country on all sides presented a low level plain, the monotony of which was occasionally relieved by a few wooded hills, and some groups of trees, among which the palm-tree was conspicuous, and tended in a trifling degree to improve the view, which, ...
— Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia - Performed between the years 1818 and 1822 • Phillip Parker King

... particulars as to their objects should be given. Would the Bodymaster see to it that suitable arrangements be made for their lodgings and comfort until the time for action should arrive? McGinty added that it was impossible for anyone to remain secret at the Union House, and that, therefore, he would be obliged if McMurdo and Scanlan would put the strangers up for a few ...
— The Valley of Fear • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

... of feet.—"The game's up!" cried one of the men with the blackened faces; "every one for himself!" and a rush was made for the steps. But it was too late: a strong guard of police fully armed had taken their stand at the top of the stair, and escape was impossible, for there was no other outlet from the vault. As each man emerged he was seized and handcuffed—all except Foster, whose unblackened face told at once that he was not one of the guilty party, and who was ...
— True to his Colours - The Life that Wears Best • Theodore P. Wilson

... looks down at me. She likes me to sit, so she may look superior and scornful, this being impossible when one looks up. When ...
— The After House • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... over-estimate the evil of any of the vices against which they contend; for in the abstract that is impossible; but that they under-estimate the evil of all other vices in relation to that one against which they arm themselves. The tree of evil has many branches, and the trimming away one of them may only make the rest grow more vigorously. There can be no thorough progress in reform until ...
— The Elements of Character • Mary G. Chandler

... boat builder generally has some trouble in producing the necessary fittings for his boats. It is practically impossible to buy such things in this country, and so it is necessary ...
— Boys' Book of Model Boats • Raymond Francis Yates

... into the depths of despair. As far back in his boyhood as he could remember, he had been taught the enormity of sexual sin, until it had become second nature for him to think of it as something very improbable, if not impossible, as pertaining to himself. And yet, here it was, right at the very door of his heart, casting its evil shadow into the most sacred precincts of his being. He had never imagined it coming to any of his near and dear ones, especially not to Carlia—Carlia, his neighbor, ...
— Dorian • Nephi Anderson

... would not be to cure it—would, on the contrary, be a certain method of perpetuating and aggravating it; that to try to forget it, is as little wise as it is humane, and that indeed such act of oblivion is altogether impossible. If crowds of artizans, coming forth from homes where there is neither food nor work, shall say, in the words that our author puts into their mouths, "Behold us here—we ask if you mean to lead us towards work; to ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine—Vol. 54, No. 333, July 1843 • Various

... passed beyond her control. Perhaps a policy of masterly inactivity might rescue her from the tornado which had swept her off her feet. In any case, she must fight her own battles, irrespective of the cabal entered into in Paris. Captain James Devar was an impossible ally; the French Count was a negligible quantity when compared with an English viscount whose ancestry threw back to the Conquest and whose estates covered half of a midland shire; but there remained, active as ever, the self-interest of ...
— Cynthia's Chauffeur • Louis Tracy

... canes at him, and the people danced round the tree in a rage. Then they began to climb. But they soon found that to be impossible. As fast as they touched a hand or foot to a tree, back it flew with a jerk exactly as if the tree pushed it. They tried a ladder, but the ladder fell back the moment it touched the tree, and lay sprawling upon the ...
— The Children's Book of Christmas Stories • Various

... now his only chance was to remain with the vessel, and attempt to save himself upon some fragment of the wreck. That the ship would long hold together he felt was impossible; already she had parted her upper decks, and each shock of the waves divided her more and more. At last, as he clung to the mast, he heard a noise abaft, and he then recollected that Mynheer Von Stroom was ...
— The Phantom Ship • Captain Frederick Marryat

... heard that, with some persons, temperance—that is, moderation—is almost impossible; and if abstinence be an evil (which some have doubted), no one will deny that excess is a greater. Some parents have entirely prohibited their children from tasting intoxicating liquors; but a parent's authority cannot last for ever; children ...
— The Tenant of Wildfell Hall • Anne Bronte

... said—it is impossible to "renew them again to repentance." Does it not seem clear that what is described cannot be the case of one who has the repentant heart? I think so decidedly, and that passage has no bearing on the sinner ...
— James Gilmour of Mongolia - His diaries, letters, and reports • James Gilmour

... "It is quite impossible to cross the Yellow River," they were told. "Eight days ago the river overflowed its banks and the ...
— A Book of Discovery - The History of the World's Exploration, From the Earliest - Times to the Finding of the South Pole • Margaret Bertha (M. B.) Synge

... time they reached the house Mr. Hardy entertained views on homicide which would have appeared impossible to him half an hour before. He flushed crimson as he saw the astonished face of Kate Nugent at the window, and, pausing at the gate to wait for the others, discovered that they had disappeared. A rooted dislike to scenes of any kind, together with a keen eye for the ludicrous, ...
— At Sunwich Port, Complete • W.W. Jacobs

... whom I had slain that afternoon, in my own most perilous position, and, above all, in the remarkable game that I saw Silver now engaged upon—keeping the mutineers together with one hand, and grasping, with the other, after every means, possible and impossible, to make his peace and save his miserable life. He himself slept peacefully, and snored aloud; yet my heart was sore for him, wicked as he was, to think on the dark perils that environed, and the shameful gibbet that ...
— Treasure Island • Robert Louis Stevenson

... works, and of faith toward God, (2)of the doctrine of immersions, and of the laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (3)And this we will do[6:3], if God permit. (4)For it is impossible that they who have once been enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, (5)and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (6)and have fallen away, should again be renewed ...
— The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. • Various

... the buyer, it is more satisfactory to select at markets perishable goods such as meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables that wilt readily. In certain cases where the housekeeper has such obligations or so many duties that a personal visit to markets is impossible, food must be purchased by telephone or messenger. Such a procedure, however, is usually followed at the sacrifice of economy and ...
— School and Home Cooking • Carlotta C. Greer

... the camp before the fight, When it's good to make your will and say your prayer, You can hear my strumpty-tumpty overnight Explaining ten to one was always fair. I'm the Prophet of the Utterly Absurd, Of the Patently Impossible and Vain — And when the Thing that Couldn't has occurred, Give me time to change my leg and go again. With my "Tumpa-tumpa-tumpa-tum-pa tump!" In the desert where the dung-fed camp-smoke curled There was never voice before us till I ...
— Verses 1889-1896 • Rudyard Kipling

... at describing, nor at softening down, the frank 'anthropomorphism' of the representation, which is the less likely to mislead the more complete it is. Samuel had heard Him before; he sees Him now, and mistake is impossible. But there is no terror nor recoil from the presence. The child's simplicity saves from that, and the child's purity; for his little life had been a growing in service and 'in favour with God ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... impossible," said she, "to come and see you. I have left this poor Sebastian's wedding, and I must return to it; for I promised to came masked to ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - MARY STUART—1587 • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... his shoulders, opened the organs of speech, and advanced his right hand at an angle of forty-five. As he stood in that elocutionary attitude this is just the way that speech went, this is it precisely. Some of my friends have asked me if I do not exaggerate it, but I could not exaggerate it. Impossible! This is the way it went; although I am not here for the story but the lesson that is back ...
— Russell H. Conwell • Agnes Rush Burr

... to be educated, with half a million children of school age, 35 per cent. of whom at the present time attend no school at all (only 36 per cent. in average attendance), a State whose dual school system makes it impossible to furnish more than a mere pittance for the education of each child—yet these children must be educated, must be unfettered, set free. That freedom for which Christian men and women, North and South, have worked and prayed so long must be realized in the lives of these young people. This, ...
— Booker T. Washington - Builder of a Civilization • Emmett J. Scott and Lyman Beecher Stowe

... I didn't know it from the very first," he answered slowly. His heart beat hard, for he could not guess how she should know of Kathleen. It was absurdly impossible that she should know. "But many have loved you!" she said proudly. "They have not shown it," he answered grimly; then added quickly, and with aching anxiety: "When ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... Campbell: "Impossible? I think I can convince you, much as I regret to do so." He makes search about Mrs. Campbell's letters on the table first, and then on the writing-desk. "We have the envelope. It came amongst a lot of letters, and there's no mistake about it." He continues to toss the ...
— A Likely Story • William Dean Howells

... move. "This is impossible," he said. "There are limits. As a German officer, I resent the mere suggestion of this insult to the ...
— Those Who Smiled - And Eleven Other Stories • Perceval Gibbon

... and I feel greatly obliged, to you for your good-will and zeal on our behalf, and have not for a moment justified your dread of being thought officious. In other circumstances, I might be tempted to fight the battle; but it is impossible for several reasons. Were we the losers, we should be totally unable to pay the costs, and a load either of debt or obligation would be a burthen we have no right to assume. Moreover, the uncertainty of our position ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... survive his father, but lived to perish gloriously at Fredericksburg in 1862. Neither he nor his son Archer knew of the shunned house as other than a nuisance almost impossible to rent—perhaps on account of the mustiness and sickly odor of unkempt old age. Indeed, it never was rented after a series of deaths culminating in 1861, which the excitement of the war tended to throw into obscurity. Carrington Harris, ...
— The Shunned House • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... understand. The next day Eileen took him up to London by train. This in itself was a tremendous adventure, though alarming at first. He traveled in the guard's van, it having been found quite impossible to get him into an ordinary compartment—or, rather, to get any one else into the compartment after he lay down on the floor. So he traveled with the guard, chained to the vacuum brake, and shared that ...
— Scally - The Story of a Perfect Gentleman • Ian Hay

... sisters that they were wrong—even morally wrong—in making their heroines beautiful as a matter of course. They replied that it was impossible to make a heroine interesting on any other terms. Her answer was, 'I will prove to you that you are wrong; I will show you a heroine as plain and as small as myself, who shall be as interesting as any of yours.' Hence 'Jane Eyre,' said she in telling the anecdote: 'but she is not myself, any ...
— The Life of Charlotte Bronte • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... vitality in a certain habit of her girlhood which she had almost entirely dropped during the past year or two. Often enough before that, she had walked about the Thorhaven streets imagining herself in all sorts of impossible situations, though always happy, beloved and rich. But she had since given it up, as she had put away her dolls a year or two earlier; and she now felt a secret shame in abandoning herself to it again—as if she had at fourteen taken to playing with ...
— The Privet Hedge • J. E. Buckrose

... pregnancy can not always be assured, so the female body stores up very large quantities of minerals and vitamins and enzymes against that very possibility. When forming a fetus these reserves are drawn down and depleted. It is virtually impossible during the pregnancy itself for a mother to extract sufficient nutrition from current food to build a totally healthy fetus, no matter how nourishing the food she is eating may be. Thus a mother-to-be needs to be spending her entire childhood and her adolescence ...
— How and When to Be Your Own Doctor • Dr. Isabelle A. Moser with Steve Solomon

... that free legislation would be impossible in the presence of an armed soldiery. He moved the appointment of a committee to remonstrate with the Governor, and to request the withdrawal of the soldiers. To this the Governor replied evasively that he had not the authority to order the withdrawal of ...
— James Otis The Pre-Revolutionist • John Clark Ridpath

... three others which are far stronger and which must be stronger or aristocracy could not exist. The moment you acknowledge that the highest social position ought to be the reward of the man who has the most talent, you make aristocratic institutions impossible. ...
— The Frontier in American History • Frederick Jackson Turner

... from the fort, wee went to the upper part of the Island; but towards evening wee returned back, & next day were in sight of the sea, wherin wee were to goe to double the point to enter the River where our habitation was; but all was so frozen that it was almost impossible to pass any farther. Wee were also so hem'd in on all sides with Ice, that wee could neither go forward nor get to Land, yet wee must get over the Ice or perrish. Wee continued 4 hours in this condition, without being able to get backwards or forwards, being in great ...
— Voyages of Peter Esprit Radisson • Peter Esprit Radisson

... I am sowing in one place, the enemy ravages the field I have just left. I cannot be everywhere. Oh! if Christians possessed the Holy Scriptures in their own tongue, they could of themselves withstand these sophists. Without the Bible it is impossible to establish the laity ...
— The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan • Ellen G. White

... never credited with being legitimate," Mrs. Barclay said, with a slight laugh. "The principle is the same as that old soldier's who said, you know, when ordered upon some difficult duty, 'Sir, if it is possible, it shall be done; and if it is impossible, ...
— Nobody • Susan Warner

... the Great Decision.—The right way, indicated by Burke, was equally impossible to George III and the majority in Parliament. To their narrow minds, American opinion was contemptible and American resistance unlawful, riotous, and treasonable. The correct way, in their view, was to dispatch more troops to crush the "rebels"; and that very act took ...
— History of the United States • Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard

... honest and agreeable person, was lately employed to take the Emperor's portrait. After the first few sittings, the portrait was taken into the seraglio to the ladies. The next time he came, the Emperor requested him to remove the great blotch from under the nose. 'May it please your majesty, it is impossible to draw any person without a shadow; and I hope many millions will long continue to repose under that of your majesty.' 'True, Raja,' said his majesty, 'men must have shadows; but there is surely no necessity for placing them immediately under their noses. The ladies will not allow mine ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... brought it to the two sisters, who each tried all she could to squeeze her foot into the slipper, but saw at last that this was quite impossible. ...
— Children's Rhymes, Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories - A Book for Bairns and Big Folk • Robert Ford

... got wealthy enough to keep a carriage and coachman he ought to be assassinated and all his goods given to the poor. He now hires a coachman himself, having succeeded in New York city as a policeman; but the man who comes to assassinate him will find it almost impossible to obtain an audience ...
— Comic History of the United States • Bill Nye

... expense that I object to, my dear; my business is so limited that it is impossible for us to live in any other than a plain, quiet way. The cost of a party would be ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 3. March 1848 • Various

... Trocadero, and have seen the red trousers of the soldiers in the distance. Fighting is going on near the viaduct of Auteuil, at the Champ de Mars. Did the assault take place last night or this morning? It is quite impossible to obtain any reliable information. Some talk of a civil engineer having made signals to the Versaillais; others say a captain in the navy was the first to enter Paris.[98] Suddenly about thirty men rush into the ...
— Paris under the Commune • John Leighton

... I urged your sister to set down the incidents of her life she listened, pondered, and then dismissed the suggestion as impossible, as her life had been like a dazed rush on a railroad express, and she despaired of recovering the incidental memories. The years with Stevenson have of course been adequately told, but the earlier period—Indianapolis and California—had ...
— The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson • Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez

... live there securely, surrounded by his faithful subjects. The immense difficulty, or, as I should have said a few days ago, the impossibility, is the release of the young prince from the Temple. But now that I have succeeded in discovering Toulan and uniting myself with him, I no longer say it is impossible, but only ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... difficult, indeed impossible, to describe Colonel Hauton, so as to distinguish him from a thousand other young men of the same class, except, perhaps, that he might be characterized by having more exclusive and inveterate selfishness. ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. VII - Patronage • Maria Edgeworth

... particles of this exceedingly subtile fluid medium must be, nor whether it have any interstitiated pores or vacuities, it being sufficient to solve all the Phaenomena to suppose it an exceedingly fluid, or the most fluid body in the world, and as yet impossible ...
— Micrographia • Robert Hooke

... repeating what I had heard from Jack, as if I had terrified her. 'What remedy does he mean? I drank nothing but a glass of wine. Send for him directly—I must, and will speak to him!' I told her this was impossible; I could not permit his sleep to be disturbed. 'The watchman!' she cried; 'the drunken brute! send for him.' By this time I began to conclude that there was really something wrong. I called in her daughter to look after her while I was away, ...
— Jezebel • Wilkie Collins

... her smiles, and her tongue, she constituted altogether a fine specimen of irrepressible fireworks, and Prince Paul had enough to do in facilitating conversation. There was no end to his politeness, but it was an impossible task for him now and then promptly to carry over a long sentence from German to Russian, and he would give it up like an invincible conundrum, with the patient smile and head-wag and hand-wave of an amiable Dundreary. Yet I began to surmise a mystery ...
— The Gypsies • Charles G. Leland

... improbable by age. Even if it were ever possible for a man to be jealous of a woman because he saw her kissing a man whom, after long and weary years of superfluous separation, he discovered to be her brother, it should surely be impossible to-day. If I saw any man kissing my fiancee I should know at once it was my future brother-in-law—or at any rate I should inquire—which the old hero never seemed to do. And yet I will wager that in the course of this year at least a dozen novels and plays will ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... Greek people.[1969] There was little general organization: every priest was attached to a particular deity except the Athenian King Archon, who had charge of certain public religious ceremonies. The mutual independence of the Greek States made the creation of a Hellenic sacerdotal head impossible. In Sparta the priestly prerogatives of the king were long maintained; usually, however, there was a separation of civil and religious functions. Generally in Greece priests were chosen by lot, or were elected by ...
— Introduction to the History of Religions - Handbooks on the History of Religions, Volume IV • Crawford Howell Toy

... Pope died, he could escape with well-filled coffers. He betrayed himself at last, on the occasion of a false report (1490) of his father's death; he endeavored to carry off all the money in the papal treasury, and when this proved impossible, insisted that, at all events, the Turkish prince, Djem, should go with him, and serve as a living capital, to be advantageously disposed of, perhaps to Ferrante of Naples. It is hard to estimate the political possibilities of remote ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... as controller of the customs amounted to. It is apparent, however, that the returns from the office of controller of the greater custom must have been very considerable. If the collectorship of the customs was not a profitable office, it is impossible to see why such men as Walworth, Philipot, and Brembre should have cared to hold it. That the twenty pounds which was their nominal salary was anything like all that they received is unbelievable. To ...
— Chaucer's Official Life • James Root Hulbert

... city, homeless and penniless, and yet he was not unhappy in this vagabondage. Every prowler in the dark is, consciously or unconsciously, a mystic. He is in touch with the unknown; he is a member of a universal cabal. The unexpected, the impossible lurk at every corner. He brushes shoulders with strange things, though often he feels only the lightest breath of their passing, and hears only a rustle like that of an overturned leaf. But he knows, either with a little shudder and a startled glance about or ...
— The Web of the Golden Spider • Frederick Orin Bartlett

... the British Museum, alternated with and succeeded each other. Pitt seemed untireable. Mrs. Dallas was in a high state of contentment, trusting that all things were going well for her hopes concerning her son and Miss Frere; but Betty herself was going through an experience of infinite pain. It was impossible not to enjoy at the moment these enjoyable things; the life at Pitt's old Kensington house was like a fairy tale for strangeness and prettiness; but Betty was living now under a clear impression of the fact ...
— A Red Wallflower • Susan Warner

... notes, I naturally assumed that I could rely upon the printed copies distributed to the members, for the various amendments offered. At the period of writing out these notes communication with Mr. BROCKENBROUGH is impossible, and I am obliged to omit farther notice of his amendments. I am not even able to state the subjects to ...
— A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention • Lucius Eugene Chittenden

... dangerous to attempt at night, on account of these stakes, which are put down by Government boats in the spring after the ice has gone, and are taken up in November before it forms again, because for about seven months all sea traffic is impossible. Sometimes the channels are so narrow and shallow that the screw of the steamer has to be stopped while the vessel glides through between the rocks, the very revolutions of the screw drawing more water than can be allowed in that particular ...
— Through Finland in Carts • Ethel Brilliana Alec-Tweedie

... and herd for hours. The beeves fared best, for with lowered heads they turned their backs to the howling gale, while the horsemen caught it on every side. The cattle drifted at will in an uncontrollable mass. The air was so filled with sifting sand and eddying dust that it was impossible to see a mounted man at a distance of fifty yards. The wind blew a hurricane, making it impossible to dismount in the face of it. Our horses trembled with fear, unsteady on their feet. The very sky overhead darkened as if night was falling. Two ...
— The Outlet • Andy Adams

... will be recorded that a handsome, enthusiastic young girl and a former circus performer made the initial contributions that established a church in a community where it was said that such a thing was impossible. I thank you all for your presence here, for ...
— David Lannarck, Midget - An Adventure Story • George S. Harney

... hour before evening, as customary, in his study, all men who came either on business, or with visits. He knew no exceptions for anyone, nor indulgence for himself. He received all, conversed with all, for it was impossible to foresee what a given man might contribute, or what he might be good for, if not at the moment, some time, if not much, then a little. But his cheeks seemed thinner than usual, and at moments his speech was less fluent. That hunting trip, ...
— The Argonauts • Eliza Orzeszko (AKA Orzeszkowa)

... said. "You see, major, the government authorities who were concerned with the discovery of the Hlats realized it would be almost impossible to keep some information about them from getting out. The specimen which was here on the Star has been stationed at various scientific institutions for the past year; a rather large number of people were involved in investigating it and ...
— Lion Loose • James H. Schmitz

... it is hard indeed as things go to give most men that share; for they do not miss it, or ask for it, and it is impossible as things are that they should either miss or ask for it. Nevertheless everything has a beginning, and many great things have had very small ones; and since, as I have said, these ideas are already abroad in more than one form, we must not be too much discouraged at the seemingly ...
— Hopes and Fears for Art • William Morris

... gold on the outside of the new Bibliotheque de Sainte Genevieve, which is now rapidly approaching completion. The list is naturally one of tremendous length, and covers not less than three whole sides of the vast building. It is impossible not to admire the spirit in which it has been devised, and the impartiality with which it has been executed. Altogether, it does the highest credit to the Parisians, and especially to their municipal authorities. The names are arranged in chronological order, but without ...
— International Weekly Miscellany Of Literature, Art, and Science - Vol. I., July 22, 1850. No. 4. • Various

... and vices which it is known to promote and which are condemned in Scripture, and so much deplored by Evangelical Christians, undoubtedly do fall within the province of this Society, and can and ought to be discussed in a fraternal and Christian spirit." The Society saw clearly that it was impossible to draw a Mason and Dixon's line in the world of ethics, to divide Duty by a parallel of latitude. The only line which Christ drew is that which parts the sheep from the goats, that great horizon-line of the moral nature of man, which is the boundary between light and ...
— The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V - Political Essays • James Russell Lowell

... self-government as rapidly as the circumstances permitted. A general school system has been established and is extended wherever practicable. In a considerable number of the islands civil organization is still impossible. ...
— Commercial Geography - A Book for High Schools, Commercial Courses, and Business Colleges • Jacques W. Redway

... children, and educated people use more words than uneducated or less educated people, so, too, nations use more words as time goes on. Every word must have been used a first time by some one; but of course it is impossible to know who were the makers of most words. Even new words cannot often be traced to their makers. Some one uses a new word, and others pick it up, and it passes into general use, while everybody has ...
— Stories That Words Tell Us • Elizabeth O'Neill

... there is not found here the wild ox, or the oudad, or the antelope, or ostrich, or the wild boar, or any other animal which inhabit and mark the Saharan regions near the north coast of Africa. It is, indeed, impossible to conceive of a country so devoid of living creatures as the route which we have traversed these last twelve days. To this must be added, that now is the favourable season for animals, and we should certainly see them if there ...
— Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846 • James Richardson

... he did with women; but if you will stop to think, most decent men do if they have lived under their hats since they grew to the long-trouser age. And if they have spent their working days astride a stock saddle, you may be sure they are bashful unless they are overbold and impossible. Well, Starr was of the bashful, easily stampeded type. As to his morals, he smoked and he swore a good deal upon occasion, and he drank, and he played pool, and now and then a little poker, and he would lie for a friend any time ...
— Starr, of the Desert • B. M Bower

... of fine flavour. In 1903 he published a tall, thin book, Random Verse, that has something of the charm and beauty of The Inn of the Silver Moon. In everything that he wrote, Mr. Viel revealed a winsome whimsicality, and a lightness of touch impossible except to true artists. It should also be remembered to his credit that he loved France with an ardour not so frequently expressed then as now. Indeed, he loved her so much that the last four years of agony might have come near to breaking his heart. He was one ...
— The Advance of English Poetry in the Twentieth Century • William Lyon Phelps

... never cease grumbling from morning till night. All this is the result of a diseased heart. In short, for the sake of a very trifling inclination or selfish pursuit, they will do any wrong in order to effect that which is impossible. This is want of judgment, and this brings all sorts of trouble upon the world. If once you gain possession of a perfect heart, knowing that which is impossible to be impossible, and recognizing that that ...
— Tales of Old Japan • Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford

... luminosity in sunlight or atmospheric effects come from the power to produce vibration by cool contrasted with warm color. You will find that a red is not so rich in any position as when you place its complementary near it. At times you will find it impossible to get the snap and sparkle to a scarlet—cannot make it carry, cannot make it felt in your picture as you want it without placing a touch of purple, perhaps, just beside it; to place near by a darker note will not have the same ...
— The Painter in Oil - A complete treatise on the principles and technique - necessary to the painting of pictures in oil colors • Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

... maidens, are very quickly told, except what the Princess looked like, for that is impossible. No man ever knew. He never got further than her eyes, and then he was drowned. But what does it matter how she looked? She died a thousand years ago of a broken heart. And her Squire, hearing of her death, died too, a thousand leagues away. And the King her father expired ...
— Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard • Eleanor Farjeon

... residual coffee to which the oils were to be later added. Two attempts were made and both failed. It appears that but a small quantity of the aroma is lost in roasting and that is mixed with bad smelling vapors from which it is impossible ...
— All About Coffee • William H. Ukers

... man brightened. The other's words had helped to hearten him. He had felt keenly the parting with his farm after all those years of labor and association. Yet, to a mind such as his, it had been impossible to do otherwise. How could he stand by watching a small community, such as he was surrounded with, however misguided in their search for gold, painfully and doggedly starving before his very eyes? For the men perhaps his sympathy might have been less keen, but the poor, long-suffering women and ...
— The Golden Woman - A Story of the Montana Hills • Ridgwell Cullum

... laughed at and insulted him, knowing well what had happened; then, infuriated against her to the last degree, he called her by all sots of names. Madame de Saint-Simon spared no exertion in order to calm M. de Berry, assuring him that it was impossible Madame de Montauban could know what had taken place at the Parliament, the news not having then reached Versailles, and that she had had no other object than flattery in addressing him. Nothing availed. Complaints and silence succeeded each other in the midst of tears. Then, ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... moral force we know of, that has curtailed, or will curtail, the family within the limits of comfortable subsistence, is sexual inhibition with prudence. But this force is absolutely impossible amongst defectives. ...
— The Fertility of the Unfit • William Allan Chapple

... be revealed. Out of the large number of prisoners taken at the capture of the stockade, only thirteen were committed for trial, the magistrates being instructed to commit only when the evidence was of the clearest nature. It being considered impossible to obtain an impartial trial by a local jury, the prisoners were brought down to Melbourne, and, after various delays, the charges were proceeded with on February 20, 1855. A Boston negro, named John Joseph, and a reporter for the Ballarat Times, named Manning, were first tried. The ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 17 • Charles Francis Horne

... sister, why had he permitted them to form ties such as had been formed? Was it a plot on his father's part to again bring misery to human souls, to make to suffer those that were of his own flesh and blood? No, no; that was impossible. Surely he was not that kind ...
— Story of Chester Lawrence • Nephi Anderson

... for the profit of a private owner, or they themselves are private owners. Every man who has any money put by in the bank, or any money invested, is a private owner, and in so far as he draws interest or profit from this investment he is a social parasite. It is in practice almost impossible to divest oneself of that parasitic quality however straightforward ...
— First and Last Things • H. G. Wells

... are very ready with their money," said Hope. "I should have begged of you before this, but that Mr Grey has been liberal in that way. He concludes it to be impossible that he should look himself into the wants of the village; but he permits me to use his purse pretty freely. Is there anything that you can suggest that can be done by me, Dr Levitt? Is there any case unknown to me where I ...
— Deerbrook • Harriet Martineau

... 60 to 70 acres of woods which contain a large percentage of butternut, therefore it is next to impossible to wipe out their native food. I doubt very much whether this would have benefited the situation at all, as the curculio would have then centered all its activities on the English walnut foliage and perhaps ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the 41st Annual Meeting • Various

... silent the place seemed! Not a footstep to be heard or the sound of a human voice. He looked at his watch again, and saw that it was six o'clock, not five, or so the thing said. But that was impossible, for the Museum shut at five; evidently the desert sand had got into the works. The room in which he stood was that known as Room I, and he had noticed that its Arab custodian often frequented Room K or the gallery outside. He would ...
— Smith and the Pharaohs, and Other Tales • Henry Rider Haggard

... said Roger, "but I think it's just plain dumb luck that we were able to get out!" He eyed the mound of sand. Unless one knew there was a spaceship beneath it, it would have been impossible to distinguish it from the ...
— Stand by for Mars! • Carey Rockwell

... forgotten by his daughter, as she saw his abashed look, his smitten helplessness. All along she had felt it difficult (as I may have said before) to reconcile the two ideas, of her father and a blood-shedder. But now it was impossible. He was her father! her own dear father! and in his sufferings, whatever their cause, more dearly loved than ever before. His crime was a thing apart, never more to ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... Jones, a favorite interpreter, has frequently declared,—"it is impossible to do Red Jacket justice." The peculiar shade given to the idea, its beauty in its own native idiom, was often entirely lost in the transfer. In much the same way, Captain Jasper Parrish, of Canandaigua, has frequently been heard ...
— An account of Sa-Go-Ye-Wat-Ha - Red Jacket and his people, 1750-1830 • John Niles Hubbard

... words lacking in the above, due to the dilapidation of the MS., render it impossible to translate this ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 • Emma Helen Blair

... their own kidney—a tailor laddie, that got the feck of his small education leathered into him at Dominie Threshem's school—thinking himself an author, I would just remind them that seeing is believing; and that they should keep up a good heart, as it is impossible to say what may yet be their own fortune before they die. The rich man's apology I would beg; if in this humble narrative, this detail of manners almost hidden from the sphere of his observation, I have in any instance tramped on the ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - tailor in Dalkeith • D. M. Moir

... and answered: "Impossible! It's true that I cannot love or be happy in my country, but I can suffer and die in it, and perhaps for it—that is always something. May the misfortunes of my native land be my own misfortunes and, although no noble sentiment unites us, although ...
— The Social Cancer - A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... past, had been using her really choice musicales as a species of knocker upon the portal of New York society. By this time, she had passed the portal and was disporting herself in the vestibule, with one toe resting upon the sacred threshold. Socially, she was as yet impossible; but her recitals had won the reputation of being among the choicest tidbits of the season's musical feast, for she made up in money what she lacked in artistic sense, and, thanks to her agent, she had been able to discover certain new stars before they rose above the horizon. For ...
— The Dominant Strain • Anna Chapin Ray

... with. A correspondent of Mr. Knight's suggests {114} for the word delight in this passage, also, a new derivation; using de as a negation, and light (lux), delighted, removed from the regions of light. This is impossible; if we look at the context we shall see that it not only contemplated no such thing, but that it is ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 38, Saturday, July 20, 1850 • Various

... point were compelled to ride in the lead if we were to hold them within the desired half mile. The men on the other side, or the swing, were gradually widening, until the herd must have reached fully a mile in length; yet we swing riders were never out of sight of each other, and it would have been impossible for any cattle to leave the herd unnoticed. In that moonlight the trail was as plain as day, and after an hour, Flood turned his lantern over to one of the point men, and rode back around the herd to the rear. From ...
— The Log of a Cowboy - A Narrative of the Old Trail Days • Andy Adams

... little of the antecedents of Summerfield. He was of Northern birth, but of what State it is impossible to say definitely. Early in life he removed to the frontier of Arkansas, and pursued for some years the avocation of village schoolmaster. It was the suggestion of Judge Wheeler that induced him to read law. In six months' time he had mastered Story's Equity, and gained an important suit, ...
— The Case of Summerfield • William Henry Rhodes

... impossible for you to give me any inkling concerning this astounding affair? I know that some unknown friend, or friends, are looking after my welfare. But why? To whom am I indebted for all this? Who has warned Miss Ranscomb and told her of my alias and ...
— Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo • William Le Queux

... as the work is under restriction and cannot be reprinted in this country. Foreign reviews speaking of it say, "The ingenuity of Doctor Gasper Gall La'Veytur's Unguiological system exceeds the capacity of our praise. It is impossible for any one of judgment and penetration to read this work without being convinced that the seat of the soul is in the toe-nails; the superior advantages which this index has over physiognomy and craniology are made most incontrovertibly evident to the most common comprehension." ...
— The Olden Time Series, Vol. 4: Quaint and Curious Advertisements • Henry M. Brooks

... companions immediately disappeared; and before we could secure our wounded beaver he also had dived beneath the waters of their pond, and although we waited sometime in the vicinity, we failed to discover him again. The inhabitants say it is nearly impossible to kill a beaver with a rifle, and never, on any occasion does ...
— Illustrated Science for Boys and Girls • Anonymous

... is a perplexing city to loaf in. (Walt Whitman if he came back to Mannahatta would soon get brain fever.) During the middle hours of the day, at any rate, it is almost impossible to idle with the proper spirit and completeness. There is a prevailing bustle and skirmish that "exerts a compulsion," as President Wilson would say. The air is electric and nervous. We have often tried to dawdle gently about the neighbourhood of the ...
— Pipefuls • Christopher Morley

... sought a road to India by the so-called Northwest Passage. It was soon found to be an impossible route, for during half the year the seas were frozen and during the other half they were filled with icebergs. However, the search for the Northwest Passage added much to geographical knowledge. The names Frobisher Bay, Davis Strait, and Baffin Land still preserve the memory of the navigators ...
— EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY • HUTTON WEBSTER

... Olivia—has been unhallowed by the Church. Unhallowed even by the Law. Legally, we have been living in—living in—well, the point is, how does the Law stand? I imagine that Telworthy could get a—a divorce.... Oh, it seems impossible that things like this can be happening to ...
— Mr. Pim Passes By • Alan Alexander Milne

... with marked hesitation that I begin this chapter, because in it I must deal with an experience so contrary to every known law of physics as to seem impossible. Until this time, barring, of course, the mystery of the Dweller, I had encountered nothing that was not susceptible of naturalistic explanation; nothing, in a word, outside the domain of science itself; nothing that I would have felt hesitancy in reciting to ...
— The Moon Pool • A. Merritt

... is perplexing. It is clear that no man can attempt to live both lives. To walk both in the flesh and in the spirit is morally impossible. "No man," as Christ so often emphasized, "can serve two masters." And yet, as matter of fact, here is the new-born being in communication with both environments? With sin and purity, light and darkness, time and Eternity, God and Devil, the confused and undecided soul is now in correspondence. ...
— Natural Law in the Spiritual World • Henry Drummond

... purely internal business, mind you. And listen to this: 'Delegates of the Austro-Hungarian Government will take part in the investigation relating thereto.' Austrian lawyers and probably judges investigating Servian subjects in Servia? Why, the thing is impossible." ...
— The Major • Ralph Connor

... came from both boys simultaneously. But scarcely had the words left their lips, when they saw that such a course might be impossible. The strange automobile was coming down the hill at a furious rate. Now, as the driver saw the Rovers' machine, ...
— The Rover Boys in Business • Arthur M. Winfield

... him that in three hours' time a representative gathering of officials and their wives would be held in the state apartments of the wind-vane Chief. Graham's desire to traverse the ways of the city was, however, at present impossible, because of the enormous excitement of the people. It was, however, quite possible for him to take a bird's-eye view of the city from the crow's nest of the wind-vane keeper. To this accordingly Graham was conducted by his attendant. Lincoln; with a graceful compliment to the attendant, ...
— The Sleeper Awakes - A Revised Edition of When the Sleeper Wakes • H.G. Wells

... master; but your letter, of course, showed that his account was true to some extent—that Ben Soloman had fallen in a struggle with you, and that you yourself were a prisoner in the hands of these bandits. Still, as it would be next to impossible for you to prove the truth of your story, and as the Jews of the place, who are numerous and influential, are dead against you, your life would certainly be forfeited were ...
— A Jacobite Exile - Being the Adventures of a Young Englishman in the Service of Charles the Twelfth of Sweden • G. A. Henty

... his bedroom, and passed into his library. On entering this room, a beautiful smile flitted over his face, and he bowed his head as if saluting some one. It would be impossible to imagine a more charming and tasteful room. It had been arranged according to the directions of the prince royal, and was in a great degree a true portrait of himself, a temple which he had erected to ...
— Frederick the Great and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... Johnson his, Congress its own. Sumner's had what appears to me might have evinced it, on trial, of superior virtue and wisdom, namely, the element of time, indefinite time as a factor in the work of reconstruction. But it is impossible to speak positively on this point. His scheme was rejected and all discussion ...
— Charles Sumner Centenary - The American Negro Academy. Occasional Papers No. 14 • Archibald H. Grimke

... each staggering bush. The impassivity of the natives departed from them when they stood about the funeral pyres, and clapping of hands and warlike chanting went heavenward with the smoke. Christine and Roddy often lingered to watch these rejoicings; indeed, it was impossible at any time to get the boy past Saltire and his gang without a halt. The English girl, while standing somewhat aloof, would nevertheless not conceal from herself the interest she felt in the forestry man's remarks, not only on the common enemy, but ...
— Blue Aloes - Stories of South Africa • Cynthia Stockley

... an evil spirit in Roma had been saying to her, in spite of herself: "Can it be possible that while you have been going through all those privations for his sake he has been consoling himself with another woman?" Impossible! The letter was a manifest imposture. She wouldn't believe a word ...
— The Eternal City • Hall Caine

... Phidippus, contains an ample vindication of Pamphilus. What, then, can we suppose could make the house so disagreeable to her in his absence, but the behavior of Sostrata? She declares her innocence; yet appearances are all against her. Supposing this to be the first Act of the Play, it would be impossible for a Comedy to open in ...
— The Comedies of Terence - Literally Translated into English Prose, with Notes • Publius Terentius Afer, (AKA) Terence

... I follow thee Past each horizon of fine poesy; Fain would I echo back each pleasant note As o'er Sicilian seas, clear anthems float 'Mong the light skimming gondolas far parted, Just when the sun his farewell beam has darted: But 'tis impossible; far different cares Beckon me sternly from soft "Lydian airs," And hold my faculties so long in thrall, That I am oft in doubt whether at all I shall again see Phoebus in the morning: Or flush'd Aurora in the roseate ...
— Poems 1817 • John Keats

... it, Pierre had placed a chair for me next to Madame de Mirepoix, her husband was on the other side of his lady,—'twas impossible to be in better company. Opposite to me was a venerable white-haired mustached gentleman, evidently a military man, and next to me was a lady, some five-and-forty, or thereabouts, with a strong Spanish cast of countenance and complexion, and her husband, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... Wilfrid's day, and had probably never been seen in the north, unless here and at Hexham; all of which considerations, in the light of the known bias and character of Wilfrid, are in favour of the theory above propounded.[69] It is impossible to say with certainty whether Wilfrid's presbytery was apsidal or square; and whether his church had aisles ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ripon - A Short History of the Church and a Description of Its Fabric • Cecil Walter Charles Hallett

... had eaten its way through to the front of the house and now the whole upper story was ablaze. It seemed impossible that any living creature could withstand ...
— The Boy Ranchers on Roaring River - or Diamond X and the Chinese Smugglers • Willard F. Baker

... was, of course, no conversation. A nervous cough now and then from some pretty widow, overheated in her sables, would break the awkward silence, or perhaps the voice of some wealthy little girl of five asking impossible explanations of her maid. During these hours the mere opening of the doctor's sanctum door was sufficient to instantly raise the hopes and the ...
— The Lady of Big Shanty • Frank Berkeley Smith

... fight his weight in wild cats," and her beautiful slender heroine, "daughter of castles, descendant of crusaders." First the twain fall desperately in love, and Edith, the Catholic, discovers Ben to be an innocent divorce. Marriage impossible, they part. But it is apparently quite in order for her to marry, without loving, a cocoa king who drinks—anything but cocoa; which done, to add to the bitterness of the cup, Ben's wife is reported dead. Whereafter the king in a drunken fit poisons himself, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Sept. 26, 1917 • Various

... tonight, very near my own, but differently shaped, and scarcely less conspicuous was the new mantel-shelf ornament: a tumbler of milk, with a biscuit on top of it, and a chocolate riding on the biscuit. To enter the room without seeing the tumbler at once was impossible. I had tried it several times, and David saw and promptly did his frog business, the while, with an indescribable emotion, I produced a night-light from my pocket and planted it in a saucer ...
— The Little White Bird - or Adventures In Kensington Gardens • J. M. Barrie



Words linked to "Impossible" :   unachievable, hopeless, unthinkable, possibility, possible, infeasible, possibleness, unfeasible, insurmountable, impracticable, inconceivable, insufferable, unsufferable, unbearable, unimaginable, unacceptable, unattainable, out, unrealistic, undoable, unsurmountable, impossible action, unworkable, intolerable, unendurable, unrealizable, impossibility, mission impossible, impractical



Copyright © 2018 Dictonary.net