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formidable

play
adjective for·mi·da·ble \ˈfȯr-mə-də-bəl; fȯr-ˈmi-, fər-ˈmi-\

Simple Definition of formidable

  • : 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

  1. 1 :  causing fear, dread, or apprehension <a formidable prospect>

  2. 2 :  having qualities that discourage approach or attack

  3. 3 :  tending to inspire awe or wonder :  impressive

for·mi·da·bil·i·ty play \ˌfȯr-mə-də-ˈbi-lə-tē; fȯr-ˌmi-, fər-ˌ\ noun
for·mi·da·ble·ness play \ˈfȯr-mə-də-bəl-nəs; fȯr-ˈmi-, fər-ˈ\ noun
for·mi·da·bly play \-blē\ adverb

Examples of formidable

  1. 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

  2. The technology was formidable: using two and a half million rivets, 300 steeplejacks working flat out would run it up in the space of two years … —Alistair Horne, Seven Ages of Paris, 2002

  3. Alta is reached by a hairpin road that climbs steadily upward—a ride of thirty minutes or so, depending on road and weather conditions—through some of the most formidable mountain scenery in the country. —Cynthia Zarin, New Yorker, 23 Mar. 1992

  4. The mountains were a formidable barrier.

  5. He has mastered a formidable amount of material.



Origin of formidable

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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