Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[dawnt, dahnt] /dɔnt, dɑnt/
verb (used with object)
to overcome with fear; intimidate:
to daunt one's adversaries.
to lessen the courage of; dishearten:
Don't be daunted by the amount of work still to be done.
Origin of daunt
1250-1300; Middle English da(u)nten < Anglo-French da(u)nter, Old French danter, alteration of donter (probably by influence of dangier power, authority; see danger) < Latin domitāre to tame, derivative of domitus, past participle of domāre to tame
Related forms
dauntingly, adverb
dauntingness, noun
undaunting, adjective
1. overawe, subdue, dismay, frighten. 2. discourage, dispirit.
2. encourage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for daunting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But if he counted on daunting Miss Gabriel, he was mistaken.

    Major Vigoureux A. T. Quiller-Couch
  • There was an assurance about Silas Grangerson daunting in its simplicity and directness.

    The Ghost Girl H. De Vere Stacpoole
  • It was all very unsettling and, in this heat and loneliness, daunting.

    The Squirrel-Cage Dorothy Canfield
  • She even thought that she could hear his steps upon the daunting stillness.

    The Backwoodsmen Charles G. D. Roberts
  • But to Horner the solemn sight was not daunting in the least.

    Kings in Exile

    Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
British Dictionary definitions for daunting


causing fear or discouragement; intimidating
Derived Forms
dauntingly, adverb


verb (transitive; often passive)
to intimidate
to dishearten
Derived Forms
daunter, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French danter, changed from donter to conquer, from Latin domitāre to tame
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for daunting



c.1300, "to vanquish," from Old French danter, variant of donter (12c., Modern French dompter) "be afraid of, fear, doubt; control, restrain," from Latin domitare, frequentative of domare "to tame" (see tame (v.)). Sense of "to intimidate" is from late 15c. Related: Daunted; daunting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for daunting

Word Value for daunting

Scrabble Words With Friends