intimidating

adjective
in·​tim·​i·​dat·​ing | \ in-ˈti-mə-ˌdā-tiŋ How to pronounce intimidating (audio) \

Definition of intimidating

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from intimidating

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

Examples of intimidating in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But getting your foot in the door can feel intimidating. Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson, House Beautiful, "You Can Totally Win at Your First Country Auction. Here's How," 29 Aug. 2018 Enjoy live music and late night treats at Wynwood Yard If salsa dancing sounds too intimidating, enjoy a three-day soul, funk, and Motown festival at the always fun Wynwood Yard starting on Thursday, December 6. Patricia Garcia, Vogue, "The Cultural Guide to Avoiding Art Basel This Year," 4 Dec. 2018 Orange might seem intimidating, but its bright hue is actually a perfect choice. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "The Best Lipstick Shades to Wear This Halloween — and How to Do It," 21 Sep. 2018 At a time when the storied Vice Lords street gang controlled nearly all of the West Side, House — a stout, intimidating, yet charming and approachable chieftain — could compel order from even the angriest young men on the block. William Lee, chicagotribune.com, "Fierce gang leader went from death row to respected 'Mayor of Chicago Avenue'," 29 June 2018 Financial assistance makes the mortgages less intimidating. Maria Carter, Country Living, "10 Years After Hurricane Katrina, Brad Pitt's Colorful Houses Enliven New Orleans," 18 Aug. 2015 This can be intimidating, but, after going through this both as someone who’s personally grieving and as a friend to someone who is grieving, don’t be afraid to be wrong. Chelsea Gray, Vox, "What I wish my friends had said to me after my mom died," 20 Nov. 2018 The swim is the most intimidating thing about a triathlon for most people. Mitchell Gladstone, Philly.com, "A Q&A with Philadelphia Escape Triathlon director Bill Burke," 21 June 2018 The only problem with dining in Brooklyn is that the wealth of choices can be a little intimidating. Debra Bruno, chicagotribune.com, "In Brooklyn, bridging the gap between new discoveries and old favorites," 16 Feb. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of intimidating

1748, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about intimidating

Share intimidating

Statistics for intimidating

Last Updated

30 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intimidating

The first known use of intimidating was in 1748

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on intimidating

What made you want to look up intimidating? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to boil down or concentrate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!