Definition of formidable
formidabilityplay \ˌfȯr-mə-də-ˈbi-lə-tē; fȯr-ˌmi-, fər-ˌmi-\ noun
formidablenessplay \ˈfȯr-mə-də-bəl-nəs; fȯr-ˈmi-, fər-ˈmi-\ noun
formidablyplay \ˈfȯr-mə-də-blē; 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.
Recent Examples of formidable from the Web
The wrecks of their formidable ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, were found in 2014 and 2016.
The Hillcrest property’s location is far removed from busy Washington Street, and getting the hundreds of vehicles that visit the hospital in and out of the area is a formidable challenge.
From the outset, McConnell faced a formidable challenge in bridging the gap between moderate and conservative members of his caucus.
As the White House faced its most formidable headache since Donald Trump’s abrupt dismissal of James Comey this spring, the president found himself in an unusual pickle.
Fernanda had weakened some as of Saturday afternoon but still was a formidable storm with 130 mph winds.
Returning the party to its traditionalist Catholic roots, the telegenic young Ms Maréchal-Le Pen built a formidable nationalist opposition party, helped by defections from Republican hardliners.
But the opposition inside and outside the Senate remained formidable.
Persian migrants brought the shoe trend to Europe, where male aristocrats wore them to appear taller and more formidable.
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.
Origin and Etymology of formidable
Middle English, from Latin formidabilis, from formidare to fear, from formido terror, bogey; akin to Greek mormō bogey
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
FORMIDABLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of formidable for English Language Learners
: very powerful or strong : deserving serious attention and respect
: very difficult to deal with
: large or impressive in size or amount
FORMIDABLE Defined for Kids
Definition of formidable for Students
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
Seen and Heard
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