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 But lately, robotaxis have seemed to hit a rut, as the tech has proved more challenging than tech and auto executives once promised. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "Amazon Shakes Up the Race for Self-Driving—and Ride-Hailing," 26 June 2020 Social distancing becomes more challenging indoors, where areas such as packing and inspection lines traditionally have people working in close proximity. Lee A. Dean, The Christian Science Monitor, "For migrant farmworkers, coronavirus adds new burdens," 26 June 2020 President Trump heads to Arizona as the once reliably conservative state and others that helped drive his 2016 victory have gotten more challenging. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Trump Heads to Arizona, an Emerging Election Battleground," 23 June 2020 But now comes a more challenging feat: keeping them entertained this summer. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "No camp for kids this summer? How to entertain your children while you work from home," 23 June 2020 Even items on the exterior ended up to be pretty challenging. cleveland, "Developers ask Beachwood for TIF deal on proposed $25 million apartment plan," 16 June 2020 In that environment, treating people who get sick or injured while participating in a protest becomes more challenging. Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, CNN, "No 'rule book' for EMTs responding to protests amid a pandemic," 15 June 2020 And this involves a cacophony of practices, traditions, biases and norms, some of which are more challenging to understand, let alone address with policy. C. Brandon Ogbunu, Scientific American, "For Scientific Institutions, Racial Reconciliation Requires Reparations," 12 June 2020 Making friends, especially close friends, can be more challenging for older adults. Mary Jacobs, Dallas News, "Should you move near the grandkids?," 10 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for challenging

Time Traveler

The first known use of challenging was in 1842

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Statistics for challenging

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Challenging.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for challenging


How to pronounce challenging (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of challenging

: difficult in a way that is usually interesting or enjoyable

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