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  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj insurmountable impossible to surmount
    • adj insurmountable not capable of being surmounted or overcome "insurmountable disadvantages"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Insurmountable Incapable of being passed over, surmounted, or overcome; insuperable; as, insurmountable difficulty or obstacle. "Hope thinks nothing difficult; despair tells us that difficulty is insurmountable ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • insurmountable Not surmountable; incapable of being surmounted, passed over, or overcome.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Insurmountable in-sur-mownt′a-bl not surmountable: that cannot be overcome
    • ***


  • Elbert Hubbard
    “There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no insurmountable barrier except our own inherent weakness of purpose.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Given a sufficient number of people and an adequate amount of time you can create insurmountable opposition to the most inconsequential idea.”
  • B. Dodge
    B. Dodge
    “No problem is insurmountable. With a little courage, teamwork and determination a person can overcome anything.”
  • Norman Vincent Peale
    “Understanding can overcome any situation, however mysterious or insurmountable it may appear to be.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Pref. in-, not + surmountable,: cf. F. insurmountable,


In literature:

The difficulties to be overcome seemed insurmountable.
"The River of Darkness" by William Murray Graydon
Still he struggled to overcome the insurmountable obstacles in his way.
"The Black Phantom" by Leo Edward Miller
But our troubles are not insurmountable.
"A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention" by Lucius Eugene Chittenden
The lofty ranges of the Himalaya interpose an almost insurmountable barrier between them and the clouds of the monsoon.
"The Panjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Kashmir" by Sir James McCrone Douie
It showed that the country presented difficulties which were insurmountable.
"A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon" by John Lord
An insurmountable barrier forbids!
"Fairy Fingers" by Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
It would put an insurmountable wall between them.
"The Snowshoe Trail" by Edison Marshall
How strong is the impulse that carries them through, in spite of these almost insurmountable obstacles!
"Life at Puget Sound: With Sketches of Travel in Washington Territory, British Columbia, Oregon and California" by Caroline C. Leighton
They are not serious or insurmountable in themselves, but they can be made serious by mismanagement.
"The Eugenic Marriage, Vol. 3 (of 4)" by W. Grant Hague
Insurmountable difficulties presented themselves to me.
"My Reminiscences of the Anglo-Boer War" by Ben Viljoen
Seaton comprehended his meaning; but the iron fastenings were an apparently insurmountable impediment.
"Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2)" by John Roby
Well, you have hit upon one of the greatest difficulties of the trip; but it is far from insurmountable.
"Pharaoh's Broker" by Ellsworth Douglass
Anything that was at all practical was filled with insurmountable obstacles.
"The Goose Man" by Jacob Wassermann
I have, however, gradually surmounted antipathies I once thought insurmountable.
"A Journal of a Young Man of Massachusetts, 2nd ed." by Benjamin Waterhouse
This procedure presented no insurmountable difficulties.
"The Economic Aspect of Geology" by C. K. Leith
It strikes me as an insurmountable difficulty.
"The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles" by Jean Henri Fabre
But those difficulties will be daily increased, and become at length insurmountable.
"The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. XI" by Various
He had temporarily drawn his bank account down to the irreducible minimum and borrowed on his securities up to the insurmountable maximum.
"In a Little Town" by Rupert Hughes
From Anah to Bussorah there is no insurmountable impediment in the way of steam navigation.
"Journal of a Residence at Bagdad" by Anthony Groves
The Hypothesis of Evolution is, he thinks, met by the insurmountable difficulty that plant life and animal life are absolutely distinct.
"Essays: Scientific, Political, & Speculative, Vol. I" by Herbert Spencer

In news:

How does one follow the seemingly insurmountable.
Fred Below does not see 300 bu./acre as an insurmountable challenge.
Sporting's goal deficit is daunting, but not insurmountable.
If you can laugh at a problem, it may not seem so insurmountable.
Rex Ryan says gap between Jets and Patriots not insurmountable .
Study finds insurmountable gulf between political parties.
Apple Has ` Insurmountable ' Lead in Tablets.
Is his lead really insurmountable .
Reese holds an almost insurmountable lead over top 12 after Day Three.
Reese holds insurmountable lead on Smith Mountain.
An Opening Day Greeting From Andy MacPhail: Competition is " Insurmountable ".
Obstacles could be insurmountable to electrified PUD.
NEW YORK — Nike has severed ties with cyclist Lance Armstrong, citing insurmountable evidence that he participated in doping and misled the company about those activities for more than a decade.
The current problems plaguing government performance seem almost insurmountable.
You had built up one of today's big tasks into something that seemed insurmountable -- but when you get to it, you find that it's incredibly simple.

In science:

Although the Hamiltonian Eq. (5) describing matrix theory and its connection with the supermembrane has been known for some time, this theory was for some time believed to suffer from insurmountable instability problems.
M(atrix) Theory: Matrix Quantum Mechanics as a Fundamental Theory
If negative (or tachyonic) energy states are given a profound role to play in physics, this must be fully understood otherwise we might be faced with insurmountable difficulties at some later stage.
Negative energies and time reversal in Quantum Field Theory
After that, the problem again becomes insurmountable.
Random Variables with Completely Independent Subcollections
N! sequences (at random) with equal probability 1/N! we need a sequence Sc of N! equally probable numbers. But the problem is, we need an arbitrarily long sequence Sc of N! equally probable numbers to generate arbitrarily long sequence of N equally probable numbers. This is not an insurmountable problem.
Human being is a living random number generator
We do not claim that these problems are insurmountable.
Random Oracles in a Quantum World
However, fine tuning of the threshold poses an insurmountable timeconsuming problem and can never be done properly. For example, if tuning of bias to value of 0.1 requires 10 seconds, then tuning to 10 times lower value (0.01) would take 100 times longer (the required time scales as square of improvement ratio).
Quantum random number generators and their use in cryptography
There are no insurmountable technical difficulties preventing advancement, though a great deal of numerical effort will be required.
Galaxy Collisions - Dawn of a New Era
New comers to this study are destined to face insurmountable difficulties or challenges.
Learning by Test-infecting Symmetric Ciphers
This seemingly insurmountable obstacle could perhaps be overcome, however, by considering a combination of: (a) shorter wavelengths, corresponding to a smaller ∆(0) and a larger δ(t); and (b) special astrophysical circumstances in which remarkably small sources can in fact be resolved.
Astrophysical and Cosmological Tests of Quantum Theory
For FUSE, the challenge was almost insurmountable.
OVI Absorption in the Milky Way Disk, and Future Prospects for Studying Absorption at the Galaxy-IGM Interface
Although addressability is an obstacle to large-scale local architectures, it is certainly not an insurmountable obstacle.
An introduction to one-way quantum computing in distributed architectures
Thus, imaging is very useful and the well-known difficulties surrounding the interpretation of Lyα emission are not insurmountable anymore.
The Structure and Dynamics of the Upper Chromosphere and Lower Transition Region as Revealed by the Subarcsecond VAULT Observations
By the second half of the twentieth century, however, the steady advance in the accuracy of stellar positions was running into a number of essentially insurmountable barriers.
Hipparcos: a Retrospective
Negative weights are not in principle an insurmountable problem.
Introduction to QCD
The combination of the two might be expected to lead to insurmountable difficulties, and it was with some surprise that we found that these difficulties can be overcome if things are defined properly.
Stability of Matter in Magnetic Fields