formidable

adjective
for·​mi·​da·​ble | \ ˈfȯr-mə-də-bəl How to pronounce formidable (audio) ; fȯr-ˈmi-, fər-ˈmi- How to pronounce formidable (audio) \

Definition of formidable

1 : causing fear, dread, or apprehension a formidable prospect
2 : having qualities that discourage approach or attack a formidable opponent
3 : tending to inspire awe or wonder : impressive a formidable accomplishment

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Other Words from formidable

formidability \ ˌfȯr-​mə-​də-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce formidability (audio) ; fȯr-​ˌmi-​ , fər-​ˌmi-​ \ noun
formidableness \ ˈfȯr-​mə-​də-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce formidableness (audio) ; fȯr-​ˈmi-​ , fər-​ˈmi-​ \ noun
formidably \ ˈfȯr-​mə-​də-​blē How to pronounce formidably (audio) ; fȯr-​ˈmi-​ , fər-​ˈmi-​ \ adverb

Examples of formidable in a Sentence

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 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 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 The mountains were a formidable barrier. He has mastered a formidable amount of material.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But no matter; her brick-and-mortar habit is formidable. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "How The Hell Has Danielle Steel Managed to Write 179 Books?," 9 May 2019 The move gives the Rams an even more formidable front, which already had Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and Michael Brockers. Mark Long, The Seattle Times, "Jaguars trade pass-rusher Fowler to Rams for 2 draft picks," 31 Oct. 2018 Kentucky: The Wildcats look formidable now that Washington is back. Eric Olson, The Seattle Times, "Herro late 3-pointer lifts Kentucky over Houston, to Elite 8," 30 Mar. 2019 Ala is a formidable, you-can’t-believe-she’s-60 blonde. Carl Swanson, Town & Country, "How Sunny Von Bulow's Daughter Ala Isham Found Her Voice," 14 Mar. 2019 Acer’s Predator Triton 900 pairs its formidable firepower with a 17-inch, 4K display that swivels on its hinge so the screen faces outward. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "6 important CES 2019 reveals and trends that PC enthusiasts need to know about," 11 Jan. 2019 Later appointments to Ambassador of the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, envoy to China, and Director of Central Intelligence solidified Bush as a formidable political figure. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "George H.W. Bush Has Died at Age 94," 1 Dec. 2018 But for me, Sabrina had to stand up to the Dark Lord, the devil, and these very formidable opponents and someone like Kiernan has the gravitas and the assuredness to be able to do that. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, ""Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Star Kiernan Shipka Almost Played This Character on "Riverdale"," 15 Oct. 2018 Cynthia Sanford, curator at the museum, now has the formidable task of sorting through a collection of some 20,000-plus items that were able to be recovered from the various memorials around Las Vegas. Janine Eduljee, NBC News, "Museums across the nation work to archive mementos of grief left after shootings," 24 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'formidable.' 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 formidable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for formidable

Middle English, from Latin formidabilis, from formidare to fear, from formido terror, bogey; akin to Greek mormō bogey

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Statistics for formidable

Last Updated

16 May 2019

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Time Traveler for formidable

The first known use of formidable was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for formidable

formidable

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of formidable

: very powerful or strong : deserving serious attention and respect
: very difficult to deal with
: large or impressive in size or amount

formidable

adjective
for·​mi·​da·​ble | \ ˈfȯr-mə-də-bəl How to pronounce formidable (audio) \

Kids Definition of formidable

1 : causing fear or awe a formidable enemy
2 : offering serious difficulties a formidable task
3 : large or impressive in size or extent a formidable waterfall

Other Words from formidable

formidably adverb

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Comments on formidable

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