Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for September 21, 2019 is:
redoubtable • rih-DOUT-uh-bul • adjective
1 : causing fear or alarm : formidable
The theater has hired a redoubtable director to direct its upcoming production.
“There, amid the planers and sawdust, 46 craftsmen create custom-built pieces for private clients and for such redoubtable institutions as 10 Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, and even Hogwarts.” — Mark Rozzo, Vanity Fair, May 2019
Did you know?
The word redoubtable is worthy of respect itself, if only for its longevity. It has been used in English for things that cause fear, dread, and apprehension since at least the 15th century and comes to us through Middle English from the Anglo-French verb reduter, meaning “to dread.” That word comes ultimately from Latin dubitare, “to be in doubt” (by way of Anglo-French duter, douter, meaning “to doubt,” also the source of English doubt). Things or people that are formidable and alarming can also inspire awe and even admiration, and it wasn’t long before the meaning of redoubtable was extended from “formidable” to “illustrious” and “worthy of respect.”