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practicable
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practicable


a dangerous, but practicable plan
  capable of being done with means at hand and circumstances as they are
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practicable practicability practicably
Notes:
Note that something that is practicable may not be practical. Just because it can be done (or done in a certain way), doesn’t mean it should be.
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Samples:
  • a dangerous, but practicable plan
  • Investment based on genuine long-term expectation is scarcely practicable in the current political environment.
  • One of these ridges, which appeared more practicable than the rest, we determined to climb, convinced that it would conduct us to the heights beyond.
    Herman Melville  --  Typee
  • But we did try very hard not to let it be known abroad that we were trying to make it practicable.
    Madeleine L’Engle  --  A Wrinkle in Time

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  • Even the one plan that was practicable, suicide, they had no intention of carrying out.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • If he did not find it practicable to arrest Fogg at Hong Kong, and if Fogg made preparations to leave that last foothold of English territory, he, Fix, would tell Passepartout all.
    Jules Verne  --  Around the World in 80 Days
  • And this is the Bibliographical system here adopted; and it is the only one that can possibly succeed, for it alone is practicable.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • They would jeer him, and, if practicable, pelt him with missiles.
    Stephen Crane  --  The Red Badge of Courage
  • The absolute should be practicable.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • We changed, and I had not made up my mind, and still reflected for my comfort that it would be quite practicable to get down and walk back, when we changed again.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations

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  • The pit dropped sheerly from my feet, but a little way along the rubbish afforded a practicable slope to the summit of the ruins.
    H.G. Wells  --  The War of the Worlds
  • Before Hester Prynne could call together her thoughts, and consider what was practicable to be done in this new and startling aspect of affairs, the sound of military music was heard approaching along a contiguous street.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • The very narrowness of this scheme made Dante’s design practicable.
    Dante Alighieri  --  Dante’s Inferno
  • Isabella, absorbed in her meditations, or a book, remained till the door opened; and it was too late to attempt an escape, which she would gladly have done had it been practicable.
    Emily Bronte  --  Wuthering Heights
  • In the hope of his recovery, and of resort to this third course being thereby rendered practicable, Mr. Lorry resolved to watch him attentively, with as little appearance as possible of doing so.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • All the buildings and trees seemed easily practicable to such dexterous climbers as the Morlocks, to judge by their wells, must be.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Time Machine
  • I next proceeded to make a chair and a table, and so began to study such mechanical arts as seemed to me practicable.
    Daniel Defoe  --  Robinson Crusoe
  • As Hawkeye ceased speaking, four human heads could be seen peering above a few logs of drift-wood that had lodged on these naked rocks, and which had probably suggested the idea of the practicability of the hazardous undertaking.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • The following day they devised no less a scheme than to survey the shores of Wood Lake, and place marks wherever the surrounding marsh was practicable and might be crossed either to reach the water or leave it.
    Johann Wyss  --  The Swiss Family Robinson
  • I am convinced of the perfect practicability of its removal.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Birthmark
  • It is possible, Haidee, that so perfect a seclusion, though conformable with the habits and customs of the East, may not be practicable in Paris.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Of course, I do not know his situation, and I do not want him to engage a superior force, but I do want him to take that hill, if he thinks practicable, as soon as possible.
    Michael Shaara  --  The Killer Angels
  • —How can you imagine such conduct practicable?
    Jane Austen  --  Emma
  • My relatives were constantly on the lookout for a chance of escape; but none offered that seemed practicable, and even tolerably safe.
    Harriet Jacobs  --  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • For the cabin’s proprietor there was nothing left but to play the part of the enforced host with whatever grace and alacrity were practicable.
    Herman Melville  --  Billy Budd
  • "I tell you," said Camilla, "there is nothing to take care of except to answer me what I shall ask you;" for she did not wish to explain to him beforehand what she meant to do, fearing lest he should be unwilling to follow out an idea which seemed to her such a good one, and should try or devise some other less practicable plan.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • He had been drawing Tom out, rather than reflecting on the practicability of his proposal.
    George Eliot  --  The Mill on the Floss
  • Yes, patent, with a gold seal and red ribbons too if that had been practicable.
    William Faulkner  --  Absalom, Absalom!
  • The passage of the vehicles might have been practicable if empty; but built up with hay to the bedroom windows as one was, it was impossible.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • Is it practicable for any of the others to double it?
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • It was a fine sight, to behold the learned dog barking round it, and Mr. Sleary instructing him, with his one practicable eye, that Bitzer was the object of his particular attentions.
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • Known to have some influence with her sister, she was continually requested, or at least receiving hints to exert it, beyond what was practicable.
    Jane Austen  --  Persuasion
  • Up to 1835 there was no practicable road for getting to Yonville, but about this time a cross-road was made which joins that of Abbeville to that of Amiens, and is occasionally used by the Rouen wagoners on their way to Flanders.
    Gustave Flaubert  --  Madame Bovary
  • She was very far from wishing to dwell on her own feelings, or to represent herself as suffering much, any otherwise than as the self-command she had practised since her first knowledge of Edward’s engagement, might suggest a hint of what was practicable to Marianne.
    Jane Austen  --  Sense and Sensibility
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bagnet both engage to have the requisite information ready and even hint to each other at the practicability of having a small stock collected there for approval.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • Rowena, who possessed strong sense, neither considered his plan as practicable, nor as desirable, so far as she was concerned, could it have been achieved.
    Sir Walter Scott  --  Ivanhoe
  • Aside from the ethics of the matter, I’m afraid it isn’t practicable.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Babbitt
  • My scheme of ORDER gave me the most trouble; and I found that, tho’ it might be practicable where a man’s business was such as to leave him the disposition of his time, that of a journeyman printer, for instance, it was not possible to be exactly observed by a master, who must mix with the world, and often receive people of business at their own hours.
    Benjamin Franklin  --  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • It would hardly be practicable to fold a blanket of blubber twenty centimetres thick around that framework.
    Arthur C. Clarke  --  Childhood’s End
  • The Bureau invited continued cooperation with benevolent societies, and declared: "It will be the object of all commissioners to introduce practicable systems of compensated labor," and to establish schools.
    W. E. B. Du Bois  --  The Souls of Black Folk
  • The branch line stops, the road is only practicable for cars to a point, the bullockcarts lumber down the side tracks, paths fray out into the cultivation, and disappear near a splash of red paint.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Passage to India
  • The smith and the bailiff started to see about the practicability of the suggested shelter, and the boy and the schoolmaster were left standing alone.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Jude the Obscure
  • Deeds of endurance, which seem ordinary in philosophy, are rare in conduct, and Bathsheba was astonishing all around her now, for her philosophy was her conduct, and she seldom thought practicable what she did not practise.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • And yet how, as she now so often asked herself at moments when she was confronted by some desire which ran counter to her sense of practicability and social morality, was she to do?
    Theodore Dreiser  --  An American Tragedy
  • Gorget, gusset, basinet, cuirass, gauntlet, sleeve, all alike in the view of these feminine eyes were practicable spaces whereon to sew scraps of fluttering colour.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Return of the Native
  • And when one observes that this mode of expression is not only the most conservative, but also the most simple, the most convenient, the most practicable for all; when one reflects that it does not drag after it bulky baggage, and does not set in motion a heavy apparatus; when one compares thought forced, in order to transform itself into an edifice, to put in motion four or five other arts and tons of gold, a whole mountain of stones, a whole forest of timber-work, a whole nation of…
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • As no danger could now approach unseen, immediate uneasiness had given place to the concern which attended the conviction that enemies were in considerable force on the shores of the lake, and that they might be sure no practicable means of accomplishing their own destruction would be neglected.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
  • …lay in that deep consciousness of inward strength, which made all his past vicissitudes seem merely like a change of garments; in that enthusiasm, so quiet that he scarcely knew of its existence, but which gave a warmth to everything that he laid his hand on; in that personal ambition, hidden—from his own as well as other eyes—among his more generous impulses, but in which lurked a certain efficacy, that might solidify him from a theorist into the champion of some practicable cause.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • Only let him be tolerably well up in the Apothecary in Romeo and Juliet, with the slightest possible dab of red on the tip of his nose, and he’d be certain of three rounds the moment he put his head out of the practicable door in the front grooves O.P.’ ’You view him with a professional eye,’ said Nicholas, laughing.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • Here it was that I was one morning surprised with a kind but melancholy letter from my gentleman, intimating that he was very ill, and was afraid he should have another fit of sickness, but that his wife’s relations being in the house with him, it would not be practicable to have me with him, which, however, he expressed his great dissatisfaction in, and that he wished I could be allowed to tend and nurse him as I did before.
    Daniel Defoe  --  Moll Flanders
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Associated words [difficulty]:   practicable [6]
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