• synonyms


  1. causing fear, apprehension, or dread: a formidable opponent.
  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.
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Origin of formidable

1400–50; late Middle English < French < Latin formīdābilis causing fear, equivalent to formīd- (stem of formīdāre to fear) + -ābilis -able
Related formsfor·mi·da·ble·ness, for·mi·da·bil·i·ty, nounfor·mi·da·bly, adverbnon·for·mi·da·bil·i·ty, nounnon·for·mi·da·ble, adjectivenon·for·mi·da·ble·ness, nounnon·for·mi·da·bly, adverbqua·si-for·mi·da·ble, adjectivequa·si-for·mi·da·bly, adverbsu·per·for·mi·da·ble, adjectivesu·per·for·mi·da·ble·ness, nounsu·per·for·mi·da·bly, adverbun·for·mi·da·ble, adjectiveun·for·mi·da·ble·ness, nounun·for·mi·da·bly, adverb
Can be confusedformative formidable

Synonyms for formidable

Antonyms for formidable

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for formidably

Contemporary Examples of formidably

Historical Examples of formidably

British Dictionary definitions for formidably


  1. arousing or likely to inspire fear or dread
  2. extremely difficult to defeat, overcome, manage, etca formidable problem
  3. tending to inspire awe or admiration because of great size, strength, excellence, etc
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Derived Formsformidability 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

Word Origin and History for formidably



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper