Definition of formidable in US English:

formidable

adjective

  • Inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense, or capable.

    ‘a formidable opponent’
    • ‘In Hassan, though, he came up against a formidable opponent and a smart street fighter.’
    • ‘His accomplishments were formidable during the first three decades of his reign.’
    • ‘Yet for a chef who shoots from the mouth, Ramsay inspires formidable loyalty.’
    • ‘As for Johnson, the old Lion may be getting a bit long in the tooth but he is still a formidable opponent.’
    • ‘What we do know is that she has a formidable mind, powerful admirers and a yellow plastic digger on her desk.’
    • ‘Whoever it was, they have assembled a formidable array of talent and spent a lot of money.’
    • ‘It was an emphatic victory and formidable testimony to his talent and determination.’
    • ‘The doctrine in detail is one of formidable complexity, but its basic principle is simple.’
    • ‘In the face of such formidable colleagues, Jo's desire to impress and succeed is even more acute.’
    • ‘The first game after the enforced break was a tough encounter against formidable opponents.’
    • ‘That brings a formidable new dimension to the conflict, further magnified by its global scale.’
    • ‘A formidable array of armour and troops roared through in a never ending stream.’
    • ‘Bayern would look more formidable if they could get two of their most talented midfielders fully fit.’
    • ‘He has built a formidable reputation on challenging the corporate orthodoxy.’
    • ‘The trick will be to blend this talent into a formidable team by championship time.’
    • ‘The shipbuilders have been playing well and are formidable opponents for anyone on their own patch.’
    • ‘He assuredly bumped off a formidable array of erstwhile friends and possible rivals.’
    • ‘This made him a formidable thinker but his knowledge and expertise did not just come from midnight oil.’
    • ‘Pittodrie presently holds one of the most formidable fear factors in the Premierleague.’
    • ‘Among a formidable list of opponents, the American Deena Kastor may be the most dangerous.’
    intimidating, forbidding, redoubtable, daunting, alarming, frightening, terrifying, petrifying, horrifying, chilling, disturbing, disquieting, dreadful, brooding, awesome, fearsome, ominous, foreboding, sinister, menacing, mean-looking, threatening, dangerous
    onerous, arduous, taxing, difficult, hard, heavy, laborious, burdensome, strenuous, vigorous, back-breaking, stiff, uphill, relentless, herculean, monumental, colossal
    capable, able, proficient, adept, adroit, accomplished
    View synonyms

Usage

The preferred pronunciation of formidable is with the stress on for-, although the stress is sometimes heard on the second syllable (in Britain more than in the US)

Origin

Late Middle English: from French, or from Latin formidabilis, from formidare ‘to fear’.

Pronunciation