chal·​leng·​ing | \ ˈcha-lən-jiŋ How to pronounce challenging (audio) \

Definition of challenging

1 : arousing competitive interest, thought, or action a challenging course of study a challenging job
2 : invitingly provocative : fascinating a challenging personality challenging questions

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Other Words from challenging

challengingly \ ˈcha-​lən-​jiŋ-​lē How to pronounce challenging (audio) \ adverb

Examples of challenging in a Sentence

I find the job challenging and fun. Teaching is challenging but rewarding work. It's a challenging book that requires careful reading. The slope was challenging for even the most experienced climbers.
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Recent Examples on the Web The work is always interesting and challenging, my manager pushes me to grow and always has my back, and my work-life balance is the envy of my friends. Megan Greenwell, Wired, 16 June 2021 Although the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a challenging environment for most companies, gaming companies however, such as Activision Blizzard, have managed to grow their revenues as well as margins, led by an increase in gaming demand. Trefis Team, Forbes, 16 June 2021 This is a challenging question that several large teams of cosmologists are probing with observational surveys and experiments. Priyamvada Natarajan, The New York Review of Books, 15 June 2021 Finnegans Wake, James Joyce’s final novel, is a notoriously challenging read. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 14 June 2021 Like many actors who become synonymous with their on-screen counterparts, Murphy insisted her next role be different and challenging. Neha Prakash, Marie Claire, 13 June 2021 And, after a very hard and challenging year, experience a bit of magic. Xóchitl Gonzalez, Vogue, 12 June 2021 Record numbers of young adults are moving back home with their middle-aged parents due to student loan debt and a historically challenging labor and housing market. Frank J. Infurna, The Conversation, 11 June 2021 The single thing, from a collection of many candidates, that stood out in this second game of a challenging playoff series was that aforementioned force and focus. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'challenging.' 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 challenging

1841, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for challenging

see challenge entry 1

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Learn More About challenging

Time Traveler for challenging

Time Traveler

The first known use of challenging was in 1841

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Statistics for challenging

Last Updated

19 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Challenging.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for challenging



English Language Learners Definition of challenging

: difficult in a way that is usually interesting or enjoyable


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