Meaning of “formidable” in the English Dictionary

"formidable" in British English

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uk /fɔːˈmɪd.ə.bəl/ us /fɔːrˈmɪd.ə.bəl/

C2 causing you to have fear or respect for something or someone because that thing or person is large, powerful, or difficult:

a formidable obstacle/task
a formidable adversary/enemy/opponent
a formidable intellect
disapproving the director and his formidable wife

More examples

  • She was once a political nonentity, but has since won a formidable reputation as a determined campaigner.
  • She is a formidable figure who commands a great deal of respect .
  • My tennis is really improving - I've got a formidable two-handed backhand.
  • He worked in the property business for a number of years, acquiring a reputation as a formidable wheeler-dealer.
  • In Tyson he had come up against a formidable opponent.
adverb uk /fɔːˈmɪd.ə.bli/ us /fɔːrˈmɪd.ə.bli/

(Definition of “formidable” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"formidable" in American English

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us /ˈfɔr·mɪ·də·bəl, fɔrˈmɪd·ə-, fərˈmɪd-/

strong and powerful, and therefore difficult to deal with if opposed to you:

There were formidable obstacles to reaching an early settlement of the dispute.

(Definition of “formidable” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)