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

Customers peek through the windows at the formidable nine-deck thermal-oil oven manufactured by Kornfeil in the Czech Republic, the custom proofer and retarder tunnels from Swedish company Revent, and the bakery professionals at work. Jessica Ritz, latimes.com, "The Manufactory: A new culinary anchor in the Arts District," 10 June 2019 The film of tomorrow won’t be made by functionaries of cinema but by artists for whom the shoot will constitute a formidable and exalted adventure. . . . Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Truffaut Essays That Clear Up Misguided Notions of Auteurism," 8 June 2019 Most teams do not present such a formidable right side attack. Ian Vescera, BostonGlobe.com, "Newton North boys’ volleyball upsets top-seeded Greater New Bedford," 8 June 2019 Tony's formidable stature carried over into his professional reputation. courant.com, "Anthony M. Fitzgerald," 7 June 2019 Spicy serrano rajas prove to be a formidable second string, and an excellent complement to sizzled beef. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Pueblan-style Mexican food at this family-owned restaurant made a dining critic do a happy dance," 5 June 2019 Meanwhile, Netflix is preparing to begin production in Portland on two films with formidable pedigrees. Mike Rogoway, oregonlive.com, "Laika splits with its CFO after new film bombs," 5 June 2019 At this point, the story of the already formidable telepath and telekinetic mutant Jean Grey obtaining uncontrollable and immense power from a cosmic force is not going to take any X-Men fan by surprise. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Dark Phoenix is a joyless retelling of the X-Men’s most famous story," 5 June 2019 With a searing alto tone that can flare from blue flame glow to bright orange grit within a phrase, Fuller has emerged as a formidable bandleader over the past decade, with four impressive albums on Mack Avenue Records. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, "Beyonce sax player Tia Fuller lands in SF Bay Area for 3 shows," 5 June 2019

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

13 Jun 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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