View synonyms for formidable


[ fawr-mi-duh-buhl, fawr-mid-uh-buhl ]


  1. causing fear, apprehension, or dread:

    a formidable opponent.

    Synonyms: horrible, frightful, fearful, menacing, threatening, appalling, dreadful

    Antonyms: pleasant

  2. of discouraging or awesome strength, size, difficulty, etc.; intimidating:

    a formidable problem.

  3. arousing feelings of awe or admiration because of grandeur, strength, etc.
  4. of great strength; forceful; powerful:

    formidable opposition to the proposal.


/ ˈfɔːmɪdəbəl /


  1. arousing or likely to inspire fear or dread
  2. extremely difficult to defeat, overcome, manage, etc

    a formidable problem

  3. tending to inspire awe or admiration because of great size, strength, excellence, etc
“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

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Derived Forms

  • ˌformidaˈbility, noun
  • ˈformidably, adverb
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Other Words From

  • for·mi·da·ble·ness for·mi·da·bil·i·ty noun
  • for·mi·da·bly adverb
  • non·for·mi·da·bil·i·ty noun
  • non·for·mi·da·ble adjective
  • non·for·mi·da·ble·ness noun
  • non·for·mi·da·bly adverb
  • qua·si-for·mi·da·ble adjective
  • qua·si-for·mi·da·bly adverb
  • su·per·for·mi·da·ble adjective
  • su·per·for·mi·da·ble·ness noun
  • su·per·for·mi·da·bly adverb
  • un·for·mi·da·ble adjective
  • un·for·mi·da·ble·ness noun
  • un·for·mi·da·bly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of formidable1

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from French, from Latin formīdābilis “causing fear,” from formīd(āre) “to fear” + -ābilis -able
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Word History and Origins

Origin of formidable1

C15: from Latin formīdābilis , from formīdāre to dread, from formīdō fear
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Example Sentences

Amazon’s data-driven DSP solution would be a formidable adversary for Google and other advertising platforms at the best of times.

A shuttered, starving root microbiome is the great undoing of the botanical worlds’ strategy for coupling a just-right rate of growth with a formidable built-in arsenal and pharmacy.

Kohl’s strip mall neighbors, notably Ulta and Target, are formidable rivals with popular offerings.

From Fortune

The analysis aimed to uncover the evolutionary history of SARS-CoV-2 and see if the virus had exchanged bits of genetic material with other coronaviruses, a process called recombination, to become the formidable pathogen it is now.

Social media is a formidable channel for building brand loyalty.

But while the obstacles to evidence-based governance are formidable, they are not insurmountable.

At Michigan, he would be a formidable recruiter, able to evoke the tradition of his former iconic coach, Bo Schembechler.

She has been formidable from start to finish, and is one of the hardest workers in the company.

Mired in ideological warfare, America faces her most formidable opponent yet— herself.

Any institution striving to examine such an iconic figure would find formidable challenges.

The Texians laughed at the fanfarronades of the dons, and did not attach sufficient importance to these formidable preparations.

Janet's silence impressed Hilda: it was not merely strange--it was formidable: it affected the whole day.

In fact, his appearance was so formidable that Davy did not pause for a second look, but started off at the top of his speed.

I found the formidable looking volume more readable than I had imagined and less difficult to understand than I had expected.

The critical moralist pauses before the formidable array of the entire social world, civilized and savage.