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
One of the more formidable challenges Tesla faces will be scaling up production.
But as a piece of technical filmmaking—and acting from Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst—this quick, wry 90 minutes is formidable.
ROC recipes to try yourself: Obtaining construction permits posed one of his most formidable challenges.
The Meat Hook has set up shop there, selling juicy burgers, salads, and formidable nachos.
Gurram paired with Ashley Wang to form a formidable doubles team this postseason, as the pair lost a tough semifinal match to Alyssa Boryachinskiy and Kailey Caroland of Howard in the county tournament semifinals and eventually placed fourth.
But if the Saudi regime, through personal ambition or family ambition, ends up destabilizing, everybody in the gulf on the Arab side could be trouble, and the opportunity for both Sunni extremists and the ayatollahs in Tehran could be formidable.
John Manzelli brings humor and compassion to the role of Charlotte’s awkward, conciliatory husband, Theodore, and as Sam and Judy Goldberg Peter Librach and Patti Gardner are a graceful and formidable pair.
Monday’s show wasn’t the real thing for anyone insisting on a proper Heart concert, but the show was entirely worthy of Wilson’s formidable legacy.
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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