forbidding vs foreboding vs formidable :

forbidding or foreboding or 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 .

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Definitions

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

  • n  a feeling of evil to come
    a steadily escalating sense of foreboding
  • n  an unfavorable omen
  • v  make a prediction about; tell in advance
  • s  ominously prophetic

  • s  extremely impressive in strength or excellence
    a formidable opponent
    the challenge was formidable
    had a formidable array of compositions to his credit
    the formidable army of brains at the Prime Minister's disposal
  • s  inspiring fear
    the formidable prospect of major surgery
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