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 But even enforceable waivers can be challenged in the courts, said Marc Lamber, head of the personal injury department at Fennemore Craig in Arizona. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "Businesses seeking COVID-19 liability waivers won't automatically be immune from lawsuits," 28 May 2020 The law was challenged by Don Higginson, former mayor of the San Diego County community of Poway, which shifted to district elections to avoid a lawsuit under the California law. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "High court rejects challenge to state law favoring local district elections," 26 May 2020 The plan, which requires European Union approval and will almost certainly be challenged by rival airlines such as Ryanair Holdings Plc, gives Germany an effective veto over company strategy. Fortune, "Germany will take Lufthansa stake in landmark $9.8 billion bailout," 25 May 2020 Paxton has argued that fear of exposure to the coronavirus is not a valid excuse, a position being challenged in federal and statecourt by the Texas Democratic Party. Elise Viebeck, Anchorage Daily News, "The pandemic has already altered how tens of millions of Americans can cast their ballots this year," 24 May 2020 Without an ability to see and interpret non verbal communication, therapists have been challenged in the virtual treatment landscape. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "How COVID-19 Is Affecting Mental Health Practitioners," 23 May 2020 But many parts of Whitmer's rules — which have been challenged in court and led to protests at the state Capitol — continue to disrupt the lives of Michiganders. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extends Michigan stay home order to June 12," 22 May 2020 The organization’s national council filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February as its finances were challenged by 275 abuse lawsuits in state and federal courts. Peg Brickley, WSJ, "Boy Scouts Set November Deadline for Sexual-Abuse Claims," 19 May 2020 She's challenged her team to asses what Commando has been getting right up until this point, but also how and where to improve. Amanda Randone, refinery29.com, "Commando CEO Kerry O’Brien Has Advice About Building A Business During A Crisis," 18 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the challenge presented by Covid-19 -- and the urgent need to trace contacts and movements -- is of another scale of intimacy. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "9/11 saw much of our privacy swept aside. Coronavirus could end it altogether," 16 May 2020 The coronavirus pandemic only adds to the challenge. Thomas Seal, Bloomberg.com, "Vodafone Looks Beyond Turbulent Markets With Tower Sale Plan," 15 May 2020 The event, entitled Making the American Dream Accessible and Affordable for Black Men, focused on the upcoming election and the economic challenges facing the African-American community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: How local leaders are planning for the DNC and RNC," 15 May 2020 The pandemic may pose the same health and economic challenges to every country, but there are unanswered questions about manufacturer returns on investments, production capacities, and the logistics of distribution, among other things. Ed Silverman, STAT, "WHO embraces plan for Covid-19 intellectual property pool," 15 May 2020 But the challenge of connecting them also underscores how hard restarting the global economy will be. The Economist, "A good kind of bubble Could travel bubbles offer a route to economic recovery?," 14 May 2020 People who find grasping things a challenge may find these easier to grip, and they can be used across a variety of movement including plyometrics and isometrics. Popular Science, "Essential exercise balls for your home gym," 13 May 2020 The challenges to restarting while preventing an outbreak among workers have proved to be formidable. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "Across U.S., Automakers' Factories Are Returning to Production," 12 May 2020 The report underscored the challenges authorities face in quantifying the human toll of the crisis. BostonGlobe.com, "Study: Virus death toll in NYC worse than official tally," 11 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for challenge

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for challenge

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Challenge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/challenge. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for challenge

challenge

verb
How to pronounce challenge (audio)

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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