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.
for·mi·da·ble·ness, for·mi·da·bil·i·ty, noun
If you describe something or someone as formidable, you mean that you feel slightly frightened by them because they are very great or impressive. We have a formidable task ahead of us.
c.1500, from M.Fr. formidable, from L. formidabilis, from formidare “to fear,” from formido “terror, dread.” Related: Formidably.
•But getting from interest to a viable formula is proving a formidable challenge.
•By the way, these kittens may be cute, but the adult felines are actually quite formidable.
•The difficulties which seemed so formidable have mysteriously vanished.
•The resulting shift of precipitation patterns makes for a formidable weather weapon.
•Instead of being tamed through scientific description, though, the giant squid seemed more formidable than ever.
•At night, the dogs are tied into position to form a living fence around our tents and sleds, a formidable warning system.
•But global graying offers an even more formidable challenge to less wealthy countries.
•Most people may dismiss their fantastic feats-and their formidable foes-as mere fantasy.
•By any name, these fascinating insects are formidable predators.
•It’s the cerebrum that makes the human brain-and therefore humans-so formidable.