formidable

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

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 ; fȯr-​ˌmi-​, fər-​ˌmi-​ \ noun
formidableness \ ˈfȯr-​mə-​də-​bəl-​nəs ; fȯr-​ˈmi-​, fər-​ˈmi-​ \ noun
formidably \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This will be a formidable challenge for an improved Seattle offensive line that has surrendered 42 sacks this season, ranking 22nd in the NFL. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Five things to know about the Seahawks’ next opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs," 17 Dec. 2018 Jacquet understands that her intended career path is a formidable challenge, but talking to experienced women in the field and researching online haves sustained her. Abby Haglage, refinery29.com, "4 Black Girls With Big Dreams & The 4 Women Living Them," 13 July 2018 But in November, Cruz will face a formidable re-election challenge from Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who may be the Democrats’ best chance in decades to flip Texas blue. Abigail Tracy, The Hive, "“Even Ted Cruz Thinks This Is a Bridge Too Far”: Texas Republicans Fear Child Detention Will Be Midterm Poison," 20 June 2018 That could present a formidable obstacle in any negotiations. Fortune, "Trump and Kim Arrive in Singapore Ahead of Historic Summit," 10 June 2018 If Budenholzer can maximize the team's talents on both ends, especially on defense where Milwaukee's length and athleticism failed to lead to positive results, the Bucks could be a formidable team in the East. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As NBA Finals begin, where do Bucks fit in the contender conversation in the East?," 30 May 2018 This is and will be a formidable challenge for organizing around progressive candidates — but perhaps not as insurmountable as galvanizing white women to repudiate white supremacy and sexism with their votes. Treva B. Lindsey, Vox, "The betrayal of white women voters: in pivotal state races, they still backed the GOP," 9 Nov. 2018 Apple’s iPad is another formidable challenge—Surface Go is closer in price to the entry level ($329) iPad than the more robust iPad Pro. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, "Microsoft unveils smaller, lighter, $399 Surface Go tablet computer," 9 July 2018 The closure left behind an economic hole in St. Paul, and a formidable environmental challenge: The site was laced with residue from decades of automaking—petroleum compounds, paint solvents, lead, and arsenic. Jay Walljasper, WIRED, "The Bitter Battle to Turn an Old Factory Into a 21st Century 'Eco-Village'," 3 July 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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Last Updated

10 Jan 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 \

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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