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 challengingly (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

This was an intensely challenging time for parents, students and black teachers alike. Arica L. Coleman, Time, "The County That Closed Its Public Schools Rather Than Desegregate After Brown v. Board of Education," 16 May 2018 Due to dense vegetation, February through April is generally considered the most challenging time for viewing creatures who tend to stay close to the shrubbery, including leopards and rhino. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Your First Safari Should Be in Botswana," 25 Apr. 2018 The first-quarter earnings season is heating up at a challenging time for euro-area stocks. Aleksandra Gjorgievska,, "Europe Investors Bet Profits Will Spur Stock Market Comeback," 24 Apr. 2018 Throughout these tasks, the specialists use empathy and experience to guide clients through what can be a challenging time. Cheryl P. Rose, Houston Chronicle, "Senior moves: Experts in downsizing make process easier," 23 Apr. 2018 The question of obstruction proved more challenging. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "As Mueller Report Is Unveiled, Barr’s Stance Puts Him in Crosshairs," 18 Apr. 2019 Aspects of design can also become more challenging. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Interview: Designer Mara Hoffman on Sustainability in Fashion," 22 Mar. 2019 Meanwhile,tThe company will continue exploring the far more challenging task of bringing AI skills into the unpredictability of the real world. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "AI Bots Can Defeat Elite Human Gamers in Dota 2 Tournament," 12 Aug. 2018 This is José's most challenging project because of its size and being in New York. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "A Mecca of Spanish Design and Food Opens in New York," 3 Apr. 2019

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

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for challenging

see challenge entry 1

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Learn More about challenging

Dictionary Entries near challenging


challenge cup






Statistics for challenging

Last Updated

8 May 2019

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Time Traveler for challenging

The first known use of challenging was in 1842

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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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Comments on challenging

What made you want to look up challenging? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


using a distributed computer network

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