mission impossible

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From the television series Mission: Impossible, first broadcast in the 1960s.

NounEdit

mission impossible (plural missions impossible or mission impossibles)

  1. An extremely difficult, if not impossible, task.
    • 1995, Jack W. Hunger, Engineering the system solution: a practical guide to developing systems, page xvi,
      Mission impossibles occur continuously.
    • 2001, United States Senate Committee on Finance, Globalization and American trade policy: hearing before the Committee on Finance, United States Senate, 107th Congress, first session, February 27, 2001, Volume 4, page 23,
      Go out and educate and sell in the course of negotiating basic trade issues the mission impossibles.
    • 2005, Dave Ziegler, Achieving Success with Impossible Children: How to Win the Battle of Wills, page 3,
      Ten years ago, Julia Littlebury and I put together a booklet for parents who were doing their best to raise difficult children. [] This would include children in foster care, adoptive homes and many children with one or both biological parents. We called the booklet Mission Impossible — Or Is It? (Ziegler & Littlebury, 1994).
    • 2007, Steffen Kolb, Steffen Nurkhardt, Mission Impossible? Media Coverage of Scientific Findings, Hans von Storch, Richard S. J. Tol, Götz Flöser (editors), Environmental Crises, page 65,
      The resulting differences in the demands on scientific versus journalistic information lead to the central question of this paper: Is journalistic work based on scientific findings a mission impossible or is there a way of combining complexity and simplicity in one text?
    • 2011, Lorna Wright, Marie-Jo Morelle, 50 Ways to Improve your French: Teach Yourself, unnumbered page,
      Is the sound short, long or nasal? Sounds like mission impossible!
      The pronunciation of words which begin in(n) or im(m) in French can cause difficulties!
    • 2012, Mayumi Itoh, Pioneers of Sino-Japanese Relations: Liao and Takasaki, page 204,
      With exceptional capabilities and expertise unmatched by his peers—such as flexible thinking and tactful negotiation skills—Takasaki succeeded in accomplishing many missions impossible that nobody else could.
    • 2013, Marshall Fine, Stand by Me, Engage Me, Gary Cameron, Marshall Fine, Sarah Maiter, Karen Frensch, Nancy Freymond (editors, Creating Positive Systems of Child and Family Welfare: Congruence with the Everyday Lives of Children and Parents, page 73,
      The impediments to equitable service are: missions impossible, lack of preventive services, need for follow-up, and provider inconsistency.

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