Word of the Day Archive
Friday October 26, 2001
redoubtable \rih-DOW-tuh-buhl\ , adjective:
1. Arousing fear or alarm; formidable.
2. Illustrious; eminent; worthy of respect or honor.
He had been particularly involved in and articulate over policy toward East Asia, stressing the threat from China after the Communists won power there in 1949, and had made dramatic impressions of competence and coolness on two occasions -- under the physical threat of a crowd in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1958, and in a dramatic kitchen debate in the Soviet Union in 1959 with the redoubtable Nikita Khrushchev.
-- William Bundy, A Tangled Web
The prospect was daunting, not least because Evelyn was still a redoubtable figure on campus whom I saw almost every day and to whom I went for advice almost as regularly.
-- Keith Stewart Thomson, The Common But Less Frequent Loon and Other Essays
At the head of the table, as committee chair, sat the redoubtable Howard Mumford Jonesa teacher famed even at Harvard for his fierce authority, his wide-ranging erudition, and his intolerant exacting preciseness.
-- Nicholas Delbanco, The Lost Suitcase
Redoubtable derives from Old French redouter, "to dread," from Medieval Latin redubitare, "to fear," literally "to doubt back at," from Latin re- + dubitare, "to doubt."