fear·​some | \ˈfir-səm \

Definition of fearsome 

1a : causing fear a fearsome monster

b : intense, extreme fearsome determination

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Other Words from fearsome

fearsomely adverb
fearsomeness noun

Examples of fearsome in a Sentence

at night the child would always imagine that there were fearsome monsters lurking under his bed after working all afternoon in the hot sun, I had developed a fearsome thirst

Recent Examples on the Web

Twenty-five years ago, the dinosaurs — wondrous and horrifying creations at once — stood for the magical but fearsome power of genetic engineering. Washington Post, "In ‘Jurassic World,’ a dino-sized animal-rights parable," 18 June 2018 With millions of customers, troves of data, access to cheap capital and seemingly unlimited leeway from its investors to enter new businesses, Amazon is a fearsome competitor. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 6 Mar. 2018 From having a lineup defined by one player, Sweden now wager on collective play without stars, making them even more fearsome. José Luis Sánchez Pando, chicagotribune.com, "World Cup Group F preview: Osorio's Tri want to transcend," 31 May 2018 There is still nothing in the league more fearsome than when the Warriors decide to give a damn. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Raptors Mount Huge Second-Half Comeback, Command Warriors’ Full Attention," 13 Jan. 2018 The Zetas’ leadership has been decimated by the arrest and deaths of main capos in recent years, and the once fearsome cartel has splintered into several factions. Mark Stevenson, USA TODAY, "Mexico nabs Zetas cartel leader Jose Maria Guizar Valencia," 9 Feb. 2018 This is surely the first movie to weaponize that most fearsome of terrors: a giant Hello Kitty Pez dispenser. Jake Coyle, Detroit Free Press, "Review: 'Ant-Man' sequel is a less-is-more triumph," 5 July 2018 Volcanoes are fearsome and stunning all at once—a reminder of the violent side of nature. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Look Into the Hellfire Heart of One of the World's Most Active Volcanoes," 19 Mar. 2015 The effect is of watching an oracle divine fearsome and inscrutable truths from on high, then render them into stories fit for mortals. Jordan Larson, The Cut, "Rachel Cusk’s Rules for Living," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fearsome.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fearsome

1768, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fearsome

fear entry 1 + -some entry 1

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Statistics for fearsome

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for fearsome

The first known use of fearsome was in 1768

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More Definitions for fearsome



English Language Learners Definition of fearsome

: causing fear : very frightening


fear·​some | \ˈfir-səm \

Kids Definition of fearsome

: very frightening a fearsome growl

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More from Merriam-Webster on fearsome

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fearsome

Spanish Central: Translation of fearsome

Nglish: Translation of fearsome for Spanish Speakers

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