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

The Good Place has become one of TV’s most challenging and delightful comedies, exploring questions of ethics, morality, and lower-circle-of-hell torture techniques over the last three seasons. Dan Snierson,, "The Good Place creator on how — and why — the show changed its ultimate message," 9 Aug. 2019 No doubt those with children at the park, especially those dealing with challenging temperaments, could on occasion be jealous of those enjoying the theme park without children. Richard Tribou,, "Angry mom’s Disney rant raises debate: kids vs. no kids," 29 July 2019 Supporting employees with resources, job flexibility and time off is what workers need to thrive during challenging times for their families. Subha Barry, NBC News, "Working Mother's Subha Barry: Top tips for taking care of aging parents," 25 July 2019 Safety concerns in clinical development can also present a challenging problem. Amar Dhand, STAT, "It’s time to find new targets for brain diseases instead of just pursuing old ones," 26 June 2019 Other teams/drivers have enjoyed plenty of success during the challenging five-week sprint -- especially Rossi (three podiums and a pole position) and Sato (two podiums and a pole) -- but none have been as dominant as Penske. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Driver-favorite Road America returns to kick off second half of IndyCar season," 20 June 2019 The Washington Redskins have endured a challenging few years, seeing their fan support dwindle amid uncertainty over a potential relocation., "The 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams in the World," 24 July 2019 As shows often do in their finales, the series finds closure but sells out its ruder and more challenging ideas in the process. Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker, "“Years and Years” Forces Us Into the Future," 22 July 2019 The newspaper also reported that some Conservative lawmakers could defect to the centrist and pro-European Liberal Democrats, making the math in Parliament even more challenging for Mr. Johnson, who will inherit a working majority of roughly five. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "Philip Hammond, U.K. Finance Chief, Says He’ll Quit Rather Than Serve Boris Johnson," 21 July 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

14 Aug 2019

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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

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


of or relating to the heavens

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