Definition of unnavigable in US English:



  • (of a waterway or sea) not able to be sailed on by ships or boats.

    ‘the canal had become unnavigable’
    • ‘But much of the journey has to be done on foot and in a variety of land vehicles: parts of the river, as it falls from its great height at the roof of the world, are unnavigable, while other sections are off-bounds.’
    • ‘With the firm supporting his move, Donahoe was able to show colleagues and clients that while his arrangement was unusual, it wasn't unnavigable.’
    • ‘Swift unnavigable waters, swinging screaming baboons, sleeping snakes, red gums ready for their sweet white blood.’
    • ‘Take, for example, recent stories on a new unnavigable cubist Web site, or how the 14 remaining Netscape users are excited about the next big update.’
    • ‘In response, Mr McCulla claimed the sizeable installations would threaten boats using nearby fishing grounds and render large areas of the Irish Sea unnavigable.’
    • ‘The pub with the most atmosphere is tiny Turf Tavern, which you get to by following two long, creepy, almost unnavigable alleys off a winding back street.’
    • ‘And I have never found big buildings particularly imposing or unnavigable.’
    • ‘Public policy is becoming increasingly reliant on scientific findings, but the differences in the way policy makers and scientists think, communicate, and approach a problem can often create an unnavigable gulf.’
    • ‘The nearest paved road is an hour away; in winter, the maze of rutted dirt truck trails hereabouts is nearly unnavigable.’
    • ‘The sun was a cool lamp in the black sky, the stars torches shining across unnavigable distance.’
    • ‘But luckily there are very few poachers there because the Mpassa River is completely unnavigable until the stretch near the reserve - there are rapids everywhere.’
    • ‘Time and again, Web readers are left overwhelmed, bogged down by big blocks of text, unnavigable homepages and user-unfriendly features.’
    • ‘Roads have become unmotorable, traffic unnavigable, and the state government, unresponsive.’
    • ‘‘But if the Intracoastal Waterway becomes unnavigable, suddenly you're going to have half the recreational boaters that use it, say 8,000 boats, forced out into the ocean,’ said Smith who is also AIWA chairman.’
    • ‘Silt levels in Sligo Harbour have been cause for grave concern in recent years, and the current levels mean the port may soon become unnavigable.’
    • ‘The book is sprinkled with interesting asides, sometimes in footnotes (like one explaining why Africa's geography - its short, shallow coastlines and unnavigable rivers - helps explain ‘the Dark Continent's ‘underdevelopment).’’
    • ‘Strange looking ships set sail from ports to vanish over the horizon, unfettered by the lethal and unnavigable reefs that so restrained the Hub ports.’
    • ‘Tributaries were difficult to survey because they remained frozen longer and often became unnavigable soon after water levels dropped following the snow melt.’
    • ‘"Pennywort is now choking the Long Pond to such a degree that parts of it are unnavigable and will soon become indistinguishable from the surrounding green fields.’
    • ‘Here they made camp and prepared for the 18-mile portage necessary to bypass the unnavigable Great Falls.’
    impassable, unpassable, inaccessible, untraversable, pathless, trackless, untrodden
    View synonyms