chal·​leng·​ing | \-lən-jiŋ \

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 \-​jiŋ-​lē \ 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 most challenging part will be enforcing a specific provision in USMCA that mandates that 40 to 45 percent of a car’s parts must be made by workers who earn at least $16 an hour to avoid tariffs. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Trump’s new trade deal is better for workers than NAFTA was," 30 Nov. 2018 The third group played the most challenging version of the game, with rapidly dropping blocks designed to create a sense of frustration. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study: Tetris is a great distraction for easing an anxious mind," 2 Nov. 2018 Bold and ambitious, Aries dives headfirst into even the most challenging situations. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "Each Zodiac Sign's Unique Personality Traits, Explained by an Astrologer," 28 Oct. 2018 Overall, 71 percent of patients who go through the program report an improvement in their quality of life, and that’s among the subset of patients who end up at Walter Reed, which generally includes the most challenging cases. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018 What have been the most challenging aspects of launching and running Solace London? Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Solace London Designer Wears The Pants, Four Chic Ways," 26 July 2018 Without a doubt, the diet is the most challenging part of the body shaping routine. Kimberly Garrison,, "How to get into Janet Jackson shape," 11 July 2018 But putting a pen to paper for her new memoir, One Heart at a Time, proved to be more challenging. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Radio Host Delilah Opens Up About Losing Her Teenage Son to Suicide In New Memoir," 22 Oct. 2018 According to Waytkus, the David Wright house saga highlights many issues that make preserving historic homes—especially those of recent architectural vintage—a costly and challenging endeavor. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Rethinking the modern house museum," 12 Oct. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near challenging


challenge cup






Statistics for challenging

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for challenging

The first known use of challenging was in 1842

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English Language Learners Definition of challenging

: difficult in a way that is usually interesting or enjoyable

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Comments on challenging

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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