Difference between Formidable, Dreadful, Terrible, and Shocking

 Formidable, Dreadful, Terrible, Shocking.

The basic meaning of all these words is fear. But they are not used as synonyms. They are used differently in a sentence.

    What is the meaning of formidable ?

    Formidable means someone or something who is very powerful that is why people feel fear and respect for him or her.

    If you describe people or things as formidable, you have respect and fear for them, because they are very great or impressive.

    Other meaning of formidable is very difficult to deal with, and large or impressive in size or amount.

    1. A formidable enemy is standing in front of our door.
    2. Everyone in the vehicle finds it a strange and formidable place. (Life of Pi)
    3. She was above all a most formidable female.

    What is the meaning of dreadful ?

    Dreadful means very bad or unpleasant. If something is dreadful, it is fearsome, bad, unpleasant, etc. 

    If you say that something is dreadful, you want to say that it is very bad or unpleasant. Old home can be dreadful, weather can be dreadful, your speech can be dreadful.

    1. I have done a dreadful mistake.
    2. My son performance was dreadful.
    3. My financial situation is dreadful.

    What is the meaning of terrible ?

    Terrible means very unpleasant. The word terrible origin from terror; terrible thing create terror.  Dying of your relative can be a terrible news.

    Terrible experience makes you feel very unhappy and frightened.

    1. You have written a terrible article.
    2.  The movie was terrible.
    3. I have very terrible experience of racism in  South Korea.

    What is the meaning of shocking ?

    Shocking means something that upsets people; that is morally wrong. The shocking news (rape, murder, etc.) can make people upset.

    Bad behaviour of your child can be shocking.

    You can say that something is shocking if you think that it is very bad and morally wrong.

    1. It is shocking that police is not arresting criminals.
    2. The number of young teenagers in USA who smoke is shocking.

    What is the difference between formidable, dreadful, terrible, shocking ?

    Let's see when to use these words.

    Formidable implies fear and respect both at the same time. You fear of something or someone because you respect that or them. When you see someone or something very impressive or great then the sense of respect comes with fear for.

    I feel fear and respect for my formidable grandfather.

    An enemy or any challenge can also be formidable.

    Dreadful suggests full of fear- to fear that something bad is going to happen. The dreadful may act violently, but not suddenly. It is alarming; frightening because of an awareness of danger. You become dreadful when you come to know that a big tiger is very near to you. That is why it is violently, but not suddenly.

    Terrible suggests terror; something that creates terror inside you is terrible. Dying of your son can be a terrible news for you. It can be sudden and violent.

    Shocking implies shaking because of fear. Something shocking can shake you mentally and bodily. It is suddenly and violently. Somehow you came to know about extra-marital affairs of your wife could be shocking for you. Shocking news comes suddenly, and can make you feel violently.

    In a nutshell:-

    Use the word formidable when you feel fear because of respect. A strict father is formidable, become son feel respect and fear for the formidable father.

    Dreadful is full of fear, a feeling of anxiety. It is an alarming fear- a fear of something bad is going to happen.

    Terrible is full of terror. A terrorist attack in you city is a terrible news; it brings a feeling of terror.

    Shocking things make your body shake. Sudden death of you mother may be shocking for you. After hearing a shocking news, you feel that your body is shaking.

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