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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a formidable/daunting task (=very difficult)
▪ Achieving these targets will be a formidable task.
a formidable/daunting/tough challenge (=a very difficult one)
▪ How to deal with waste is a daunting challenge for the west.
daunting (=frightening in a way that makes you not feel confident)
▪ It is a pretty daunting prospect, being on stage for forty minutes.
▪ The threat of lightning did little to daunt local golfers.
▪ Frequent imprisonment by various regimes did not daunt the courage of Nawal.
▪ Many families who get into difficulties have been struggling with problems that would daunt the most energetic and resourceful of people.
▪ The book is certainly authoritative but may well daunt the uncommitted reader by its relentlessly hard-nosed factuality.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Daunt \Daunt\ (d[add]nt; 277), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Daunted; p. pr. & vb. n. Daunting.] [OF. danter, F. dompter to tame, subdue, fr. L. domitare, v. intens. of domare to tame. See Tame.]

  1. To overcome; to conquer. [Obs.]

  2. To repress or subdue the courage of; to check by fear of danger; to cow; to intimidate; to dishearten.

    Some presences daunt and discourage us.

    Syn: To dismay; appall. See Dismay.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1300, "to vanquish," from Old French danter, variant of donter (12c., Modern French dompter) "be afraid of, fear, doubt; control, restrain," from Latin domitare, frequentative of domare "to tame" (see tame (v.)). Sense of "to intimidate" is from late 15c. Related: Daunted; daunting.


vb. 1 to discourage, intimidate 2 to overwhelm


v. cause to lose courage; "dashed by the refusal" [syn: dash, scare off, pall, frighten off, scare away, frighten away, scare]

Usage examples of "daunt".

They seemed to find her lack of response rather daunting, even the more acerbic Gelana.

Dubois, nothing daunted, begged her to say what she thought of the Italians.

Nothing daunted, Brutus moved his troops into one of the many fortresses dotting the circumvallations built five years ago when Caesar and Pompey the Great had waged siege war there.

Now Gorlim would have drawn back, but daunted by the eyes of Sauron he told at last all that he would know.

Nothing daunted, however, Wilkes immediately offered himself for the county, and he was returned by the freeholders of Middlesex, by a very large majority.

As for Wilkes himself, he was nothing daunted by it, for after indulging in many witticisms at the expense of his adversaries, he declared that he would stand again for Middlesex, and expressed his conviction that he should be returned.

The exertions of the opposition, however, were warmly supported by a large majority of the liverymen of London, who busied themselves in getting up memorials and remonstrances, and hence they were nothing daunted by their repeated defeats.

On the 14th, however, nothing daunted, the Earl of Chatham coupled the discontents of America with those in England and Ireland, and founded a motion on them for an address to dissolve the parliament.

Nothing daunted, however, they first pelted him with every thing that came to hand, and then, seeing his reluctance to fire, closed upon him, and compelled him to retreat to the door of the Custom-house.

But Montgomery hoped to meet Arnold under the walls of Quebec, and nothing daunted by the desertion of his soldiers, and the smallness of his force, he began to descend the St.

Nothing daunted, however, at this desertion, he gave notice that to-morrow he would move an amendment upon the report.

Madeline murmured, turning slowly away from the house, feeling daunted herself.

But his hands felt wooden and awkward, daunted by the sheer weight of her innocence.

She frowned, dreading another meeting with Jona-thon La June His grief drained her, his anger daunted her, but she hoped his guilt over shooting her would prompt him to cooperate.

I am an old man, broken by sickness, disheartened by misfortune, daunted by tribulation - a mere husk cast aside by Fortune, whilst you are lovely as one of the angels about the Throne of Heaven.