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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).

Unpassable, adj. (adv.). Also: unpassabill, -ell, unpassible. [e.m.E. vnpassable (1553); Passable adj.]

A. adj. 1. That cannot be passed, crossed or traversed; impassable. c1515 Asl. MS I 306/4.
Hercules pilleris and Sibillis strichtis merche betuix the twa polis Articus and Arteriticus vnpassable to schip men
1549 Lamb Resonyng 37/7.
Rodanus, the greit fluid, vnpassabill bot be grit weschell
1587 Warrender P. (SHS) II 41.
It wes … the winter that made the seas unpassable
1646 Baillie II 421.
I marched with the regiments through the corns and over the braes, untill the unpassible ground did hold us up
1665 Irvine Mun. II 196.
Ther brig … is lyklie … to become unpassible to man or beast
1672 Edinb. B. Rec. X 134.
The wayes upon both syds of the Cannogait [are to be made] free of the gutters that runs doun therupon and maks the same unpassabell
1675 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. IV 388.
The said highway is altogether stopped and rendered unpassable
1682 Edinb. B. Rec. XI 44.
Considering that the building of the slaughter houses at the north loch syd are retarded upon the accompt the way at that place is unpassible in regaird to the great red and other rubish lying therupon

2. Of money: That cannot be circulated, unusable. 1664 Aberd. Journal N. & Q. III 109/2.
Ther was some unpassable money in the poors box

B. adv. Impassably. 1632 Lithgow Trav. ix 390.
The north side … beeing vnpassable steepe

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"Unpassable adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <>



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