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

Left back Crystal Dunn is a formidable obstacle, and if shoring up on the outside is needed, Horan or Mewis can provide support. Frank Dell’apa, BostonGlobe.com, "US experience will count in Women’s World Cup final," 6 July 2019 At this year's World Economic Forum, Attenborough and Prince William discussed the broadcaster's ecological advocacy, and the the formidable challenges in store for future generations of green activists. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Looking Back at David Attenborough's Relationship with Queen Elizabeth and the Rest of the Royal Family," 4 Apr. 2019 Yet even with those formidable remaining obstacles, California's economic performance in recent years has been dynamic. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, "How California became the blue state alternative to Trump," 15 May 2018 But the big, deep Winnipeg Jets, who outplayed the No. 1-seeded Nashville Predators, will be a formidable obstacle to the Golden Knights' continuing their dream season. Helene Elliott, latimes.com, "Here's how the four NHL conference finalists match up," 11 May 2018 But the Hardaway relationship is a formidable obstacle. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "No. 1 recruit James Wiseman's pick between UK and Memphis is one of life's 'hard decisions'," 30 Apr. 2018 But until then, many members of the group have been working hard together in their Halas Hall offices installing his new offense designed to make the team more formidable. Colleen Kane, chicagotribune.com, "As Matt Nagy installs new Bears offense, he tells coaches to bring on ideas," 28 Mar. 2018 Senior guard Bernard Lightsey, who hit four three-pointers in the semifinals, is one of several players who are capable scorers, which makes the Panthers more than formidable on both ends of the court. Aaron Carter, Philly.com, "Donta Scott, Imhotep prepare for postponed PIAA final," 21 Mar. 2018 Isn’t Backing Down by Amy Chozick Behind the scenes with one of President Trump’s more formidable foes and her lawyer Michael Avenatti. Vogue, "Our Favorite Longreads From 2018," 21 Dec. 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

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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