10 Best Words for Something Nearly Impossible to Achieve

Have you ever come across something that seems impossible to achieve? It almost seems like you would never be able to do that thing without great effort. This article will explore some of the best synonyms you can use to describe something nearly impossible to achieve.

Words for Something Nearly Impossible to Achieve

The preferred alternatives are “pipe dream,” “unrealistic,” and “improbable.” These words work well because they show that something is doubtful. They don’t say there is no chance to complete something, but they keep things realistic and say it’s unlikely.

Pipe Dream

“Pipe dream” is a great idiomatic choice here. It shows that something is impossible or unlikely to happen. It is more common for people to fail or miss out on pipe dreams, though you might sometimes find that people figure them out.

While pipe dreams are difficult to achieve, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Some people have achieved their pipe dreams before. They just needed to work hard for them.

The definition of “pipe dream,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “an idea or plan that is impossible or very unlikely to happen.”

  • Trust me, mate. You’re thinking about this, but it’s a pipe dream. There’s no way you’ll be able to figure out a way to do it.
  • It’s a pipe dream, so it’s never going to happen. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see how you will be able to complete it.
  • I didn’t realize this was such a pipe dream. I thought I was managing my expectations here, but I can see that I was wrong.
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“Unrealistic” is a good synonym that shows that something is unlikely. It shows that someone might not have considered all the potential options before deciding what they want to get out of a situation.

Most people who say that things are “unrealistic” are judged for being pessimistic. Most of the time, they’re just trying to keep things real and make sure their friends don’t get their hopes up.

The definition of “unrealistic,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “having a wrong idea of what is likely to happen or of what you can really do; not based on facts.”

  • You’re being unrealistic. You need to expect disappointment. It isn’t simply going to work out in your favor because you want it to.
  • Stop being unrealistic and start thinking about the logic behind this. You can’t get away with living like this forever.
  • You have unrealistic expectations for this project. I’m sorry, but it’s not going to work out as you imagine.


“Improbable” is a great word here. It’s similar to “impossible,” but it leaves room for improvement and success. You can say that something is improbable when you don’t believe it will happen, but you don’t want to completely shut down the likelihood of the idea.

The definition of “improbable,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “not likely to happen or be true.”

  • The probability is low. It’s improbable, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a minuscule chance that you might pull this off.
  • It’s improbable to think that they’ll complete this. There are too many factors at work that will ruin the project.
  • You are relying on improbable data to carry out this experiment for you. I don’t see how you’re going to make that one work.


“Unlikely” is a simple way to show that you don’t think something is likely to happen. That doesn’t mean you’ve ruled it out as impossible, but it does mean that you think it would take a lot before you’re convinced that it would happen.

The definition of “unlikely,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “not probable or likely to happen.”

  • I think it’s quite unlikely that this will work out for you. Still, I admire your courage during these trying times.
  • You’re setting up an unlikely precedent here. While I don’t believe it will work all that well, I still have faith in you.
  • I believe it’s unlikely. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but you’ll have to put a lot of time and energy into getting this right.


“Impractical” is a good alternative if you’re looking to show that something someone is doing is not effective or possible. It usually refers to actions, as they are more likely to be impractical and impossible to get right.

The definition of “impractical,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “not effective or reasonable, or (of people) not able to provide effective or simple solutions.”

  • You’re making this impractical with the things you’re doing. I don’t think you will be able to find a way to get through this right now.
  • It’s impractical because you haven’t considered all the variables. You need to make sure you’ve got everything sorted before moving forward.
  • I told you this was way too impractical. Yet, you didn’t want to listen to me. I’m not the type to say, “I told you so.”


“Unattainable” is an interesting one. Unlike most of the others, which leave room for something to become possible after a lot of work, “unattainable” makes it clear that something is as close to impossible as it can be.

The definition of “unattainable,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “not able to be achieved.”

  • It’s an unattainable dream right now. As much as I hope it does come true, I don’t see why someone like Sarah would go for me.
  • You’ve managed to make this unattainable in all the worst ways. I don’t see a way for you to be able to change that.
  • It’s unattainable at present. If you continue working on a solution, you might find things get a little easier for you.


“Chimera” refers to a dream that seems impossible. It might be very vivid and clear in your mind, but if you know it’s going to take a lot to achieve it, you might think of it as a chimera because it seems so out of reach.

The definition of “chimera,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “a hope or dream that is very unlikely ever to come true.”

  • I didn’t realize I believed in a chimera here. I thought the solution was going to happen much easier than it did.
  • It’s not going to be easy. In fact, it’s more of a chimera. You will have to work for it if you want everything to come true.
  • You’ve managed to stumble across a chimera, so you’re not going to be able to complete this without putting in a lot of effort.


“Unfeasible” means that something doesn’t make sense to achieve. You can use it to show that you don’t believe that someone or something can complete a task because it is not a “feasible” activity for them.

The definition of “unfeasible,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “not feasible (able to be done or achieved).”

  • I’m not saying it’s unfeasible, but there’s definitely more to this than you realize. It would help if you were prepared for that.
  • These expectations are unfeasible, to say the least. They expect you to be able to do something that is nearly impossible.
  • It’s unfeasible to expect this outcome to be the only possible one. You’re not considering all the factors that could take place here.


“Quixotic” is a great synonym you can use. It shows that something is an unusual idea, and it is often too outlandish to succeed. While it might be nice to think about these crazy schemes, most people appreciate that quixotic things rarely come true.

If you know someone who likes to come up with ideas but never follows through with them, they could be “quixotic.”

The definition of “quixotic,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “having or showing ideas that are different and unusual but not practical or likely to succeed.”

  • Is it quixotic to believe that I can complete this task? I thought it would be interesting for me to give it my best go.
  • I won’t deny that this project is highly quixotic. Nevertheless, it’s going to be worth trying, just to see if it pays off.
  • You’ve come up with a quixotic design here. While I’m happy to back you up, I think you will struggle to pull it off.

Herculean Effort

“Herculean effort” works well here. It shows that someone is going to have to put a lot of work into achieving something. Often, the amount of work required is so substantial that it creates a nearly impossible feat for someone to achieve.

The word comes from the Roman character “Hercules.” It comes from the trials that he had to go through to prove himself, showing that he needed strength and determination to complete them.

The definition of “Herculean,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “needing great strength and determination.”

  • You’ve put in a Herculean effort with this one, but I still don’t think it’s enough. I don’t think you realize just how hard this will be.
  • You’ll be asked for a Herculean effort before you can get through this. Have you got what it takes to get that done?
  • It’s going to be a Herculean effort. I wish you all the best, but I don’t think you’re prepared for what comes next.