2 an alternative that is not available [syn: impossible action]
EtymologyFrom Latin impossibilitas
- That which is impossible; the quality of
- Meeting the deadline is an impossibility; there is no way we can be ready in time.
In contract law, impossibility is an excuse for the nonperformance of duties under a contract, based on a change in circumstances (or the discovery of preexisting circumstances), the nonoccurrence of which was an underlying assumption of the contract, that makes performance of the contract literally impossible. For such a defense to be raised, performance must not merely be difficult or unexpectedly costly for one party; there must be no way for it to actually be accomplished.
For example, if Rachel contracts to pay Joey $1000 to paint her house on October 1, but the house burns to the ground before the end of September, Rachel is excused from her duty to pay Joey the $1000, and he is excused from his duty to paint her house; however, Joey may still be able to sue for the unjust enrichment of any benefit conferred on Rachel before her house burned down.
Related to science
- Impossibility by John D. Barrow ©1998 ISBN 0-09-977211-6 - Investigates the limits of science and the science of limits.