[ fawr-mi-duh-buhl ]
/ ˈfɔr mɪ də bəl /


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

1400–50; late Middle English < French < Latin formīdābilis causing fear, equivalent to formīd- (stem of formīdāre to fear) + -ābilis -able

Related forms

Can be confused

formative formidable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for formidable

British Dictionary definitions for formidable


/ (ˈfɔːmɪdəbəl) /


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

Derived Forms

formidability or formidableness, nounformidably, adverb

Word Origin for formidable

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