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

Anagram is a fast-paced, exciting and challenging game for anyone who loves playing with words. The Reader's Catalog, "Anagram Game," 17 June 2019 The Four standout Zhavia Ward released her debut EP 17 on Friday and is giving fans an inside look at her challenging upbringing, journey to fame and young love. Tomás Mier,, "Zhavia Ward Gets 'Vulnerable' in Her Debut EP About Her Adversity-Filled Upbringing," 14 June 2019 That could prove handy the next two days, if USGA officials let the greens become firmer and find more challenging hole locations. Ron Kroichick,, "Justin Rose, a man of the world, puts himself in position at Pebble Beach," 14 June 2019 However, as a team, Real endured a challenging few years during Beckham's stay in Madrid, only lifting two trophies across four seasons., "Real Madrid: 24 Premier League Stars Who Moved to Los Blancos & How Successful Each Player Was," 13 June 2019 The first challenging leg of the hike ends at the village of Takahara, with time to relax in hot springs at our Japanese-style hotel. National Geographic, "Japan: Hiking and Cultural Adventure," 12 June 2019 Though the Tigers are at least two years away from competing in the division, positive development sometimes comes with challenging prospects. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers mailbag: When will Riley Greene make it to majors?," 11 June 2019 All six actresses deliver riveting performances in this extremely challenging production. Tom Titus,, "On Theater: A compelling ‘Piece’ of women in war at the Attic," 10 June 2019 While Texas’ wild turkey population remains generally healthy — the current count is at least a half-million, far more than any other state — the big upland birds have had a challenging couple of years. Shannon Tompkins,, "Texas turkeys thriving after mild, wet spring," 8 June 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

19 Jun 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

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