in·​tim·​i·​dat·​ing in-ˈti-mə-ˌdā-tiŋ How to pronounce intimidating (audio)
: causing a loss of courage or self-confidence : producing feelings of fear or timidity
an intimidating snarl
a boss with a very intimidating manner
The Red Army athletes were the most intimidating of competitors.Ian Thomsen
First jobs are intimidating for everyone, but few people have to cope with the stresses of the workplace at such a tender age as ballet dancers do.Daphne Hurford
intimidatingly adverb
The ship was eerily, intimidatingly empty … Anthony Bourdain
… according to the architect Richard Rogers, [Daniel] Libeskind's work isn't just formally arresting—it is intimidatingly smart. Jason Cowley

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web For enemy shooters, the Swedish stopper has been as intimidating as an open-mouth gator. Matt Porter,, 14 Jan. 2023 Blackberries in scents, especially those that lean peppery and dark, may be incredibly intimidating. Nerisha Penrose, ELLE, 9 Dec. 2022 The 12-foot diameter is also wide enough for kids to get in several strokes without the distance being too intimidating. Veronica Graham, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Nov. 2022 An Outlander Vision concept featured a more powerful plug-in-hybrid powertrain with big wheels, brakes, and a wider stance that made the three-row SUV look aggressive and intimidating. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 13 Jan. 2023 Divided up by region (Europe, Africa, Oceania—even Antarctica!), the book outlines food traditions both tempting and intimidating. Charlyne Mattox, Country Living, 20 Dec. 2022 The racial wealth gap is a big problem and usually, the conversations around it can sound incredibly intimidating. Essence, 7 Dec. 2022 If a fundraiser is aggressive or intimidating, report it to the local police. Dallas News, 2 Dec. 2022 Nothing seems too intimidating to not be confident. Janine Rubenstein, Peoplemag, 30 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intimidating.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1748, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of intimidating was in 1748

Dictionary Entries Near intimidating

Cite this Entry

“Intimidating.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on intimidating

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