forbidding vs foreboding vs formidable : Common Errors in English

About forbidding vs foreboding vs formidable

“Foreboding” means “ominous,” as in “The sky was a foreboding shade of gray” (i.e. predictive of a storm). The prefix “fore-” with an E, often indicates futurity, e. g. “forecast,” “foreshadowing” and “foreword” (a prefatory bit of writing at the beginning of a book, often misspelled “forword”). A forbidding person or task is hostile or dangerous: “The trek across the desert to the nearest latte stand was forbidding.” The two are easily confused because some things, like storms, can be both foreboding and forbidding.“Formidable,” which originally meant “fear-inducing” (“Mike Tyson is a formidable opponent”) has come to be used primarily as a compliment meaning “awe-inducing” (“Gary Kasparov’s formidable skills as a chess player were of no avail against Deep Blue”).See also .

forbidding Meaning(s)

  • (v) command against
  • (v) keep from happening or arising; make impossible
  • (n) an official prohibition or edict against something
  • (s) harshly uninviting or formidable in manner or appearance
  • (s) threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments

foreboding Meaning(s)

  • (n) a feeling of evil to come
  • (n) an unfavorable omen
  • (s) ominously prophetic

formidable Meaning(s)

  • (s) extremely impressive in strength or excellence
  • (s) inspiring fear

forbidding in News

  1. Texting and driving law is ineffective due to outdated assumptions

    In 2011, Indiana adopted a law forbidding drivers from texting while their vehicle is in motion; but since the law came into effect, it has been largely ineffective in the Lafayette/West Lafayette area.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: The Purdue Exponent

  2. Ill. prosecutor criticized over concealed-carry

    An Illinois prosecutor's decision to let citizens immediately start carrying concealed weapons despite a state law forbidding it is drawing fire from several of his colleagues across Illinois.
    on June 8, 2013 Source: KWQC-TV 6 Davenport

  3. Democrats’ steep uphill road to recapture House

    Can Democrats gain the 17 seats they need to win control of the House in 2014? Maybe, but the numbers look forbidding. Remember that while Barack Obama was reelected with 332 electoral votes he carried only 209 of the 435 congressional districts.
    on June 7, 2013 Source: Washington Examiner

foreboding in News

  1. Sound of violence

    ‘Berberian Sound Studio” reminded me of the time my friend Daniela walked out of “The Shining.” “I can’t take it anymore. It’s too scary,” she said. It was the opening credits. But, in her defense: Who hasn’t been mesmerized, if not terrified, by the intensely foreboding theme...
    on June 14, 2013 Source: New York Post

  2. Divine drama: Stage 3 presents 'The Diviners'

    Dark, foreboding — and downright delightful: that's the seemingly disparate description of "The Diviners," the next play this season presented by Stage 3 Theatre Company in Sonora.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Modesto Bee

  3. Trying To Make Sense Of The Holowaty Mess At Eastern

    On the night of April 25, Bill Holowaty sounded deeply wounded and foreboding.        
    on June 9, 2013 Source: Hartford Courant

formidable in News

  1. Jacksons gather lawyers for sentencing

    Former prosecutors, specialist who helped Blagojevich among attorneys who will argue for leniency Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife have assembled a formidable team of eight lawyers assisting in their defense as they prepare for sentencing July 3, court filings show.        
    on June 14, 2013 Source: Chicago Tribune

  2. Mumford and Sons, Earl Sweatshirt Cancel Bonnaroo Sets

    Though Bonnaroo has a formidable lineup of acts gracing its stages this weekend, two acts -- Mumford and Sons and Earl Sweatshirt -- have cancelled...
    on June 14, 2013 Source: Billboard

  3. TransCanada Steps Up Defense of Keystone XL Pipeline

    Faced with formidable opposition from environmentalists, TransCanada is redoubling its efforts to rebut claims made against its flagship project, the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline that the Canadian company is seeking President Obama’s permission to build from Alberta’s oil sands to the Gulf Coast.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: National Journal via Yahoo! News

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