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

Other Words from challenge

Verb

challenger noun
challengeable \ ˈcha-​lən-​jə-​bəl How to pronounce challenge (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Nicolee Ambrose represents Maryland on the Republican National Committee and is the party’s nominee to challenge Democratic Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger in the 2nd Congressional District. Jeff Barker, Baltimore Sun, 16 Sep. 2022 In rounds one and two Sawyer picks a chef to challenge and Flay chooses the main ingredients to be emphasized. Paris Wolfe, cleveland, 15 Sep. 2022 Even after those reviews are done and if Interior allows development, green groups will still be able to challenge the reviews and leases afresh in court. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 13 Sep. 2022 Storytelling can serve to support, challenge and strengthen our experience and opinions. Holly Mullen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Sep. 2022 Participants will be given a blind flight of three different bourbons that will challenge their senses and teach them a thing or two about bourbon. The Courier-Journal, 1 Sep. 2022 The team again is on pace to challenge league records en route to another Supporters’ Shield. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2022 Compassion and Choices says the Vermont lawsuit is the nation's second to challenge residency requirements for such laws. Wilson Ring, ajc, 25 Aug. 2022 Compassion and Choices says the Vermont lawsuit is the nation's second to challenge residency requirements for such laws. CBS News, 25 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One challenge in Australia and elsewhere is getting the travel industry back into fighting shape. Stuart Condie, WSJ, 18 Sep. 2022 The city of Boston, which is home to Northeastern University, Boston University and several other schools, said in a challenge to its census figures that the count missed 6,000 students. Mike Schneider, ajc, 18 Sep. 2022 The latest challenge was brought by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the families of three teenage boys — two 16-year-olds and a 14-year-old — and all members of PFLAG in Texas. Andrew Demillo, USA TODAY, 18 Sep. 2022 But the Bears are preparing for the usual challenge at Lambeau Field against their NFC North rivals, who have won six straight and 11 of the last 12 meetings. Colleen Kane, Chicago Tribune, 18 Sep. 2022 Toledo will present a similar challenge with DeQuan Finn, who’s already run for 138 yards this season. Stephen Means, cleveland, 17 Sep. 2022 Howard was ultimately forced to punt, but Reservoir faced a daunting challenge. Jacob Steinberg, Baltimore Sun, 17 Sep. 2022 The Bobcats present a challenge with mobile quarterbacks. oregonlive, 17 Sep. 2022 Author Jason Reynolds, the national ambassador for Young People's Literature, has seen several of his own books banned and says the biggest challenge behind book bans involves obscenity. CBS News, 17 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About challenge

Time Traveler for challenge

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near challenge

challah

challenge

challenge cup

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Statistics for challenge

Last Updated

20 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Challenge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/challenge. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for challenge

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on challenge

Nglish: Translation of challenge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of challenge for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about challenge

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