Mawson, C.O.S., ed. (18701938). Rogets International Thesaurus. 1922.
Class IV. Words Relating to the Intellectual Faculties
Division (I) Formation of Ideas
Section III. Materials for Reasoning
IMPOSSIBILITY &c. adj.; what cannot be, what can never be; sour grapes; hopelessness [See Hopelessness]; infeasibility, infeasibleness, impracticality; discrepancy (disagreement) [See Amorphism].
[COMPARISONS] Canute (commanding the tide), Mrs. Partington (and her mop).
BE IMPOSSIBLE &c. adj.; have no chance whatever.
ATTEMPT IMPOSSIBILITIES; square the circle, find the elixir of life, discover the philosophers stone, discover the grand panacea, find the fountain of youth, discover the secret of perpetual motion; wash a blackamoor white; skin a flint; make a silk purse out of a sows ear, make bricks without straw; have nothing to go upon; weave a rope of sand, build castles in the air, prendre la lune avec les dents [F.], extract sunbeams from cucumbers, milk a he-goat into a sieve, catch a weasel asleep, rompre languille au genou [F.], be in two places at once; gather grapes from thorns, fetch water in a sieve, catch wind in cabbage nets, fling eels by the tail, make cheese of chalk.
IMPOSSIBLE; not possible [See Possibility]; absurd, contrary to reason; at variance with the facts; unlikely; unreasonable [See Intuition. Sophistry]; incredible [See Unbelief. Doubt]; beyond the bounds of -reason, - possibility; from which reason recoils; visionary; inconceivable (improbable) [See Improbability]; prodigious &c. (wonderful) [See Wonder]; unimaginable, inimaginable [obs.], not to be thought of, unthinkable.
IMPRACTICABLE, unachievable; unfeasible, infeasible; insuperable; insurmountable or unsurmountable, unattainable, unobtainable; out of reach, out of the question; not to be had; beyond control; desperate (hopeless) [See Hopelessness]; incompatible [See Disagreement]; inaccessible, uncomeatable [colloq.], impassable, impervious, innavigable, inextricable; self-contradictory.
out of -, beyond- ones -power, - depth, - reach, - grasp; too much for; ultra crepidam [L.].
The grapes are sour.
Non nostrum tantas componere lites.Vergil
Chercher une aiguille dans une botte de foin.
Il a le mer à boire.
Few things are impossible to diligence and skill.Johnson
It is not a lucky word, this same impossible.Carlyle