re·​doubt·​able ri-ˈdau̇-tə-bəl How to pronounce redoubtable (audio)
: causing fear or alarm : formidable
: illustrious, eminent
broadly : worthy of respect
redoubtably adverb

Did you know?

The word redoubtable is worthy of respect itself, if only for its longevity. It has been used in English for things that cause fear, dread, and apprehension since at least the 15th century and comes to us through Middle English from the Anglo-French verb reduter, meaning "to dread." That word comes ultimately from Latin dubitare, "to be in doubt" (by way of Anglo-French duter, douter, meaning "to doubt," also the source of English doubt). Things or people that are formidable and alarming can also inspire awe and even admiration, and it wasn't long before the meaning of redoubtable was extended from "formidable" to "illustrious" and "worthy of respect."

Examples of redoubtable in a Sentence

There is a new biography of the redoubtable Winston Churchill. his next opponent, the reigning champion, would be by far the most redoubtable adversary the young boxer had ever faced
Recent Examples on the Web The leader in this redoubtable regard is the MINI Cooper Hardtop at a 25.5% markup, with the full-electric Porsche Taycan sedan following at 32.1% over list. Jim Gorzelany, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 The Iranians have worked painstakingly in the past decade to build up a redoubtable deterrence capability on Israel’s borders with Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza. Michael Young, The Atlantic, 24 Oct. 2023 At least 35,000 Americans now work in dog-and-cat-food factories, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ redoubtable Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2023 The redoubtable Harriet gave birth in the back of a bullock cart a few days later, amid the din of nearby shellfire. Adam Goodheart, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Sep. 2023 The redoubtable Riccardo Muti opens Carnegie Hall’s season with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Leonidas Kavakos in Tchaikovsky’s lovely Violin Concerto (Oct. 4). The New Yorker, 18 Aug. 2023 One was Tim Moore, the redoubtable Republican speaker of the state House. David Perlmutt, New York Times, 31 July 2023 Secondly, Russia is using is redoubtable propaganda apparatus to spread misinformation about the US and Europe in Africa in support of the Ukraine war. John F. Clark, Fortune, 27 June 2023 Early this year, Film Forum, the redoubtable revival house on West Houston Street, drew overflow crowds for a documentary about two elderly men squaring off over semicolons and commas. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 14 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'redoubtable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English redoutable, from Anglo-French, from reduter to dread, from re- + duter to doubt

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of redoubtable was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near redoubtable

Cite this Entry

“Redoubtable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


re·​doubt·​able ri-ˈdau̇t-ə-bəl How to pronounce redoubtable (audio)
: causing fear or dread : formidable
a redoubtable warrior
redoubtably adverb

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