- causing fear, apprehension, or dread: a formidable opponent.
- of discouraging or awesome strength, size, difficulty, etc.; intimidating: a formidable problem.
- arousing feelings of awe or admiration because of grandeur, strength, etc.
- of great strength; forceful; powerful: formidable opposition to the proposal.
Origin of formidable
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for formidable
But while the obstacles to evidence-based governance are formidable, they are not insurmountable.Can the U.S. Government Go Moneyball?
Peter Orszag, Jim Nussle
December 23, 2014
At Michigan, he would be a formidable recruiter, able to evoke the tradition of his former iconic coach, Bo Schembechler.Is Any College Football Coach Worth $60 Million? Jim Harbaugh Is
December 20, 2014
She has been formidable from start to finish, and is one of the hardest workers in the company.William, Kate, and Jay Z’s Favorite Art Star: Alexander Gilkes' World of Rock Stars and Royalty
December 10, 2014
Mired in ideological warfare, America faces her most formidable opponent yet— herself.The Post-Brown and Garner Question: Who ‘Deserves’ to Die?
December 9, 2014
But the settlers are a formidable constituency and felt threatened having all those Palestinians around.Inside Hebron, Israel’s Heart of Darkness
November 21, 2014
We are, however, attributing too much to this formidable power.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
The feeling of a prudent man for an enemy who is too formidable safely to be opposed.The Devil's Dictionary
Each measured the other, and they were formidable antagonists, well matched.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
We had laid in this formidable implement in hopes of a big muscallunge.
The thicket, before so formidable, amounted to nothing at all.
- arousing or likely to inspire fear or dread
- extremely difficult to defeat, overcome, manage, etca formidable problem
- tending to inspire awe or admiration because of great size, strength, excellence, etc
Word Origin and History for formidable
mid-15c., from Middle French formidable (15c.), from Latin formidabilis "causing fear, terrible," from formidare "to fear," from formido "fearfulness, fear, terror, dread." Related: Formidably.