adjective for·mi·da·ble \ˈfr-mə-də-bəl; fr-ˈmi-, fər-ˈmi-\

: very powerful or strong : deserving serious attention and respect

: very difficult to deal with

: large or impressive in size or amount

Full Definition of FORMIDABLE

:  causing fear, dread, or apprehension <a formidable prospect>
:  having qualities that discourage approach or attack
:  tending to inspire awe or wonder :  impressive
for·mi·da·bil·i·ty \ˌfr-mə-də-ˈbi-lə-tē; fr-ˌmi-, fər-ˌ\ noun
for·mi·da·ble·ness \ˈfr-mə-də-bəl-nəs; fr-ˈmi-, fər-ˈ\ noun
for·mi·da·bly \-blē\ adverb

Examples of FORMIDABLE

  1. The mountains were a formidable barrier.
  2. He has mastered a formidable amount of material.
  3. She was known throughout Manchester as a formidable woman, and being educated had only piled more formidability on top of what she had been born with. —Edward P. Jones, The Known World, 2003


Middle English, from Latin formidabilis, from formidare to fear, from formido terror, bogey; akin to Greek mormō bogey
First Known Use: 15th century


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May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
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