"Surmountable" sounds so much weirder there than "insurmountable"..

As in:

Was that a rejection? At the time it seemed like maybe he just had a few surmountable objections...

  • Nothing wrong with "surmountable". Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 2:21
  • But isn't there something more ELEGANT?
    – Tom Lehman
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 2:21
  • 2
    Elegance is in some degree subjective. Maybe if you edited your question to include the complete sentence, I might get a better idea of why you think "surmountable" is inelegant. Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 2:25
  • 1
    I would have rephrased it as At the time it seemed like maybe he had a few objections, but nothing insurmountable.
    – TrevorD
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 10:41
  • 1
    @Horace Loeb: Okay, then, maybe not. Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


Possibly superficial (“Shallow, lacking substance”) would work well to modify objections in that context. Depending on the larger context and the desired slant, some of the following terms might also work:
minor, “Of little significance or importance”
insignificant, “Not significant; not important, consequential, or having a noticeable effect”
trivial, “Of little significance or value”
insubstantial, “Lacking substance; not real or strong”
nominal, in its sense “Insignificantly small; trifling”
secondary, “Of less than primary importance”
pro forma, “For the sake of form only”
perfunctory, “Done merely to discharge a duty; performed mechanically and as a thing of rote; done in a careless and superficial manner; characterized by indifference; as, perfunctory admonitions...”

For replacing both words (objections and its adjective) consider nouns
cavil, “A petty or trivial objection or criticism”
nit, a trivial detail (as in nitpicking, “A process of finding or pointing out tiny details or errors, particularly if the pointed-out details seem insignificant or irrelevant to all but the finder”)
minutia, “A minor detail, often of negligible importance”

  • +1 I too was thinking about: At the time it seemed like maybe he just had a few nits but no showstoppers...
    – Jim
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 5:16
  • If you told me he had nits, I'd spray him with insecticide. Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 14:24

If you mean the obstacles were of little consequence, jwpat7's suggestions offer many choices.

If you are looking for more "elegant" perhaps conquerable.

Or perhaps an analogy

What seemed like molehills have reared up into mountians.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.