challenge

verb
chal·​lenge | \ ˈcha-lənj How to pronounce challenge (audio) \
challenged; challenging

Definition of challenge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to dispute especially as being unjust, invalid, or outmoded : impugn new data that challenges old assumptions
2a : to confront or defy boldly : dare he challenged his critics to prove his guilt
b : to call out to duel or combat challenged his rival to a duel
c : to invite into competition he challenged his brother to a tennis match
3 : to question formally the legality or legal qualifications of challenge a juror
4 : to arouse or stimulate especially by presenting with difficulties she wants a job that will challenge her
5 : to order to halt and prove identity the sentry challenged the stranger
6 : to demand as due or deserved : require an event that challenges explanation
7 : to administer a physiological (see physiological sense 2) and especially an immunologic challenge to (an organism or cell)

intransitive verb

1 : to make or present a challenge when the appropriate moment challenged, he was capable of … leadership— C. H. Driver
2 : to take legal exception

challenge

noun

Definition of challenge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a stimulating task or problem looking for new challenges
2a : a calling to account or into question : protest a challenge to unauthorized use of public funds
b : an exception taken to a juror before the juror is sworn a challenge of a prospective juror based on a specific cause or reason
c : a questioning of the right or validity of a vote or voter
d : a sentry's command to halt and prove identity The intruder fled at the sentry's challenge.
3a : an invitation to compete in a sport He accepted my challenge to a game of chess.
b : a summons (see summons entry 1 sense 2) that is often threatening, provocative, stimulating, or inciting specifically : a summons to a duel to answer an affront
4 : the act or process of provoking or testing physiological activity by exposure to a specific substance especially : a test of immunity by exposure to an antigen

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Other Words from challenge

Verb

challenger noun
challengeable \ ˈcha-​lən-​jə-​bəl How to pronounce challengeable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of challenge in a Sentence

Verb

A number of doctors are challenging the study's claims. The new lawsuit challenges the lower court's decision. She's been challenged on her handling of the problem. None of them were willing to challenge the referee on the call. It's a game that will challenge a child's imagination. The work doesn't challenge him anymore, and he's often bored.

Noun

The next major challenge for the company is to improve its distribution capabilities. Teaching adolescents can be quite a challenge. The band feels ready for new challenges. If he takes on the new project he will face the greatest challenge of his career. Management is seeking ways to better meet the challenge of future growth. The ski slope offers a high degree of challenge. Do you accept my challenge to a game of chess? The senator may face a challenge from within her own party.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The nemeses challenge each other to a design contest, and are surprised to find some lessons in love hidden in the floorboards (had to). Megan Stein, Country Living, "Hallmark's Spring Fever Lineup Is Here to Make Winter Less Miserable," 6 Mar. 2019 Of course, finding time to vote is more or less challenging depending on your job and life commitments. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Stores like Levi’s and North Face are giving their workers time to vote," 2 Nov. 2018 However, while the general theory here is well-established, building specific solutions is still challenging. James Vincent, The Verge, "How teaching AI to be curious helps machines learn for themselves," 1 Nov. 2018 Taking up jogging might not be a typical reaction to a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis, but that’s how Ronda Carter fell in love with the therapeutic, challenging, and rhythmic nature of putting one foot in front of the other. Serena Solomon, Woman's Day, "Breast Cancer Changed Ronda Carter's Life; Now, She's Doing the Same for Others," 24 Sep. 2018 With each new one, the brand challenges the idea of the traditional workplace. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "This Is How Some Of The World's Most Productive Offices Are Designed," 18 Sep. 2018 For my money, neither Wunderlist nor To-Do can challenge the basic effectiveness of Google Keep at the moment. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Wunderlist's death by a thousand cuts continues as Microsoft axes Cortana integration," 29 Mar. 2019 There is a long road ahead: 10 Republican candidates will face off in a May 14 primary, and the winner will challenge Democrat Dan McCready in the fall. Valerie Bauerlein, WSJ, "Historic Do-Over Election in North Carolina Brings Out Bruising Politics," 21 Mar. 2019 Commission spokesman Ahmed Akram says the final results will be released within the 7-day window parties have to challenge the results in court. Fox News, "Maldives' provisional elections results show opposition win," 24 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Aston Martin's engineers have been working on developing and engineering these gadgets with Chris Corbould, a Bond effects specialist, who says that the main challenge was to reproduce gadgets from the film world to work in a consumer product. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "Check Out the Aston Martin DB5 Continuation's Working James Bond Gadgets," 14 May 2019 But now that Pie’s name is set and done, the eyes of the Android naming community must turn to the real challenge: this year’s Android 10 Q release. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "What will Google call Android 10 Q?," 6 May 2019 London’s designers have always been good at rising to the challenge when times are hard. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Symonds Pearmain Just Emerged As the Latest Label to Know From London," 16 Feb. 2019 That all feels very similar to the challenges with public transit. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Getting around the Bay Area with Chanell Fletcher," 21 Dec. 2018 Of course, shopping for wedding dresses secondhand has its challenges. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "More Brides Are Buying Used Wedding Dresses Than Ever Before," 1 May 2019 Writing Frame by Frame had its challenges in the wake of the show, too. Megan Stein, Country Living, "The Voice's Cassadee Pope Reveals the 'Grueling' Part of Winning That No One Talks About," 27 Apr. 2019 Though that teacher was very wrong in predicting how Chan’s career might unfold, becoming a trailblazer of Hollywood’s inclusion movement comes with its own challenges, particularly when entering a multi-billion dollar franchise. Yolanda Machado, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gemma Chan Knows Hollywood Has a Long Way to Go with Inclusion," 2 Apr. 2019 Their challenges resonate with me on a deeply personal level. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "Designer Anita Dongre Talks Dressing Priyanka Chopra, Beyoncé, and Sophie Turner," 14 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'challenge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of challenge

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 6

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3b

History and Etymology for challenge

Verb and Noun

Middle English chalengen to accuse, from Anglo-French chalenger, from Latin calumniari to accuse falsely, from calumnia calumny

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Statistics for challenge

Last Updated

5 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for challenge

The first known use of challenge was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for challenge

challenge

verb

English Language Learners Definition of challenge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to say or show that (something) may not be true, correct, or legal
: to question the action or authority of (someone)
law : to question whether (someone) should serve on a jury

challenge

noun

English Language Learners Definition of challenge (Entry 2 of 2)

: a difficult task or problem : something that is hard to do
: an action, statement, etc., that is against something : a refusal to accept something as true, correct, or legal
: an invitation to compete in a game, fight, etc.

challenge

verb
chal·​lenge | \ ˈcha-lənj How to pronounce challenge (audio) \
challenged; challenging

Kids Definition of challenge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to object to as bad or incorrect : dispute The coach challenged the referee's call.
2 : to confront or defy boldly He challenged them to prove him wrong.
3 : to invite or dare to take part in a contest Are you challenging us to a race?
4 : to be difficult enough to be interesting to : test the skill or ability of This puzzle will challenge you.
5 : to halt and demand identification from The guard challenged the stranger.

Other Words from challenge

challenger noun

challenge

noun

Kids Definition of challenge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an objection to something as not being true, genuine, correct, or proper or to a person (as a juror) as not being correct, qualified, or approved
2 : a call or dare for someone to compete in a contest or sport
3 : a difficult task or problem Memorizing the poem was a challenge.
4 : an order to stop and provide identification

challenge

transitive verb
chal·​lenge | \ ˈchal-ənj How to pronounce challenge (audio) \
challenged; challenging

Medical Definition of challenge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to administer a physiological and especially an immunologic challenge to (an organism or cell)

challenge

noun

Medical Definition of challenge (Entry 2 of 2)

: the process of provoking or testing physiological activity by exposure to a specific substance especially : a test of immunity by exposure to an antigen after immunization against it

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challenge

transitive verb
chal·​lenge
challenged; challenging

Legal Definition of challenge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to dispute especially as being invalid or unjust counsel challenged this interpretation
2 : to question formally (as by a suit or motion) the legality or legal qualifications of challenge the regulations especially : to make a challenge to (a trier of fact) the grounds for challenging prospective jurors — W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr. — compare recuse

challenge

noun

Legal Definition of challenge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a calling into question especially : a questioning of validity or legality : objection when the challenge to the statute is in effect a challenge of this basic assumption Kramer v. Union Free School Dist. No. 15, 395 U.S. 621 (1969) — see also batson challenge
2 : a request to disqualify a trier of fact (as a jury member or judge) — compare recusal, strike
challenge for cause
: a challenge especially of a prospective juror based on a specific and stated cause or reason
challenge to the array
: a challenge of an entire jury that raises objections to the selection process
peremptory challenge
: a challenge especially of a prospective juror that does not require a stated cause or reason

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Comments on challenge

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