A Word A Day : Formidable

Tuesday, 25th September 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : faor'mi-de-bel

1. Arousing fear, dread or alarm

2. Inspiring awe, admiration or wonder

3. Difficult to undertake, surmount or defeat

4. Requiring great or extreme bodily, mental or spiritual strength


Middle English, from Old French, from Latin formidabilis, from formidare, to fear, from formido, fear


Appalling, Dire, Direful, Dreadful, Fearful, Fearsome, Frightful, Ghastly, Redoubtable, Scary, Terrible, Tremendous, Arduous, Backbreaking, Burdensome, Demanding, Difficult, Effortful, Exacting, Exigent, Hard, Heavy, Laborious, Onerous, Oppressive, Rigorous, Rough, Severe, Taxing, Tough, Trying, Weighty, Overwhelming, Horrible & Terrifying


Feeble, Friendly, Harmless, Nice, Pleasant, Powerless, Weak, Comforting, Easy, Not Hard, Pleasant &, Trivial

Contextual Examples:

• Though a true hero, he was also a thoroughgoing bureaucrat and politician, a formidable combination (Mario Puzo).

• It may be imagined that a gentleman so qualified and so disposed, was in no danger of becoming formidable to the learned seminaries of Eton or Westminster.

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