chal·​leng·​ing ˈcha-lən-jiŋ How to pronounce challenging (audio)
: arousing competitive interest, thought, or action
a challenging course of study
a challenging job
: invitingly provocative : fascinating
a challenging personality
challenging questions
challengingly 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Preferring to tell stories over cracking conventional jokes, Cannavale’s Max Bernal often incorporates his challenging relationship with his son, Ezra (Fitzgerald), into his material, which doesn’t necessarily yield the biggest laughs. Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Sep. 2023 The College Board’s AP program provides students with an opportunity to take challenging courses and receive possible college credit while still in high school based on their AP exam results, Bolden said. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland, 11 Sep. 2023 But that task gets extra challenging this weekend, as Messi will be gone during the MLS international break. Lindsay Schnell, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2023 Trying to find funding for her project can be challenging. La Risa R. Lynch, Journal Sentinel, 7 Sep. 2023 Cars without drivers have become a common sight in San Francisco, where the winding, hilly and often foggy streets have proved a challenging test ground for the technology. Trisha Thadani, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2023 Roku has faced a challenging environment for media and entertainment advertising. Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times, 6 Sep. 2023 For years, lithium battery systems’ prices have decreased as their efficiencies increased, but the metal’s comparative rarity presents a challenging hurdle for scaling green energy infrastructure. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 6 Sep. 2023 During the construction process, Leonard says protecting the marks of craftsmanship that came before him was just as important as updating the property with his own twist, which included the challenging task of bringing all of the infrastructure and creature comforts up to modern-day standards. Wendy Bowman, Robb Report, 30 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'challenging.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see challenge entry 1

First Known Use

1841, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of challenging was in 1841

Dictionary Entries Near challenging

Cite this Entry

“Challenging.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on challenging

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