Let's say there is a country which illegal immigrants are not able to enter. The country's borders have good security. Can we call that country

an impassable country


an uncrossable country


For example, do you think it would be fine to say any of these:

The US is impassable/uncrossable.

The US has impassable/uncrossable borders.

The US has is an impassable/uncrossable country.

If we can't use "impassable" or "uncrossable" to mean that, which words would you recommend?

  • 2
    I would simply say that «country x» has secure borders (or ... closed borders if it's not open to legal immigration or tourism). Jul 27, 2021 at 14:13
  • 1
    Entering a country and crossing a country are not the same. If you can't enter it you might describe the country as impenetrable rather than impassable or uncrossable. Jul 27, 2021 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


Both "crossable" and "passable" have the idea of "going through, from one side to the other": "This road is so busy with cars it is uncrossable". You could use "uncrossable" to describe the borders, but not the country

You could perhaps use "unenterable": Not possible to be entered.

The borders of the USA are uncrossable.

The USA is now unenterable.

But that doesn't quite describe the situation that you describe, since with a visa, it is very easy to enter the country.

So for your precise context, I'd just use a paraphrase:

The USA now has effective border security.

  • Thank you. Do you think it is wrong to call borders "impassable"? Jul 27, 2021 at 20:31
  • 1
    Not completely wrong, but "crossing the border" is the idiom. But as you describe it, the borders are not "impassable" nor "uncrossable". Those with visas cross them very easily. An uncrossable border is one which it is impossible to cross.
    – James K
    Jul 27, 2021 at 20:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .