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

But Daniels’s playfulness also masks the psychological and personal toll that has come from being one of the president’s most formidable opponents. Amy Chozick, Vogue, "Stormy Daniels Isn’t Backing Down," 28 Aug. 2018 While none of their solutions are as bizarre as the Sky Crane, Aung and her team are up against challenges at least as formidable as those Adam Steltzner faced. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: NASA's Crazy, Kooky, Legendary Research Facility," 3 Nov. 2016 The most formidable opponent in this camp is the Reform Judaism movement. Abraham Riesman, Daily Intelligencer, "Can the young activists of IfNotNow change the conversation about Israel and the Palestinians, or will their contradictions hold them back?," 12 July 2018 Construction crews are busy at work on the waterfront in this downtrodden city, where $1.6 billion in corporate tax breaks and the advocacy of one of New Jersey’s most formidable power brokers have fueled a development boom. Kate King, WSJ, "The Power Broker Behind Camden, N.J.’s Upswing," 9 July 2018 After being passed over for the Neapolitan crown because of his youth and inexperience, King Carobert had, ironically enough, turned into one of Europe’s most formidable warriors. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018 But Booking’s aggressive push into home listings may be its most formidable adversary. Erin Griffith, WIRED, "The Airbnb Challenger You've Never Heard of (by Name)," 2 July 2018 Ms Locust Point looks to be the most formidable invader, having won three sprint stakes in a row this winter at Laurel. Tim Dwyer, Sun-Sentinel.com, "X Y Jet highlights Summit of Speed card," 29 June 2018 Hoeber is the Republican front-runner; Miller’s most formidable opponent is David Trone, a businessman who has spent more than $10 million of his own money on the race. Washington Post, "Maryland Democrats choose between insurgents, establishment in crowded primary," 28 June 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

14 Nov 2018

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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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