What do the national debt, your old gym teacher, and your mother-in-law have in common? They're all formidable — that is, they inspire fear and respect thanks to their size, or special ability, or unusual qualities. (Or possibly all three in the case of your mother-in-law.)

  • Pronunciation: /ˈfɔːmɪdəbəl/
  • English Description: very powerful or impressive, and often frightening
  • Chinese Translation: 艰难的(Jian1 Nan2 De)
  • Spanish Translation: formidable
  • STORY: What's interesting about formidable is that we often tend to use it about things that, while they may scare us, we can't help being pretty impressed by all the same. A formidable opponent is almost by definition a worthy one; a formidable challenge almost by definition one worth rising to. Not surprisingly, this word is derived from the Latin formidare, "to fear."


  • The new range of computers have formidable processing power.
  • The building is grey, formidable, not at all picturesque.

P.S: New word description, story and part of "EXAMPLE SENTENCE" are cited in