- a call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc.
- something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, special effort, etc.: Space exploration offers a challenge to humankind.
- a call to fight, as a battle, a duel, etc.
- a demand to explain, justify, etc.: a challenge to the treasurer to itemize expenditures.
- difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it.
- Military. the demand of a sentry for identification or a countersign.
- Law. a formal objection to the qualifications of a particular juror, to his or her serving, or to the legality of an entire jury.Compare peremptory challenge.
- the assertion that a vote is invalid or that a voter is not legally qualified.
- Biology. the process of inducing or assessing physiological or immunological activity by exposing an organism to a specific substance.
- Hunting. the crying of a hound on finding a scent.
- to summon to a contest of skill, strength, etc.
- to take exception to; call in question: to challenge the wisdom of a procedure.
- to demand as something due or rightful.
- Military. to halt and demand identification or countersign from.
- Law. to take formal exception to (a juror or jury).
- to have a claim to; invite; arouse; stimulate: a matter which challenges attention.
- to assert that (a vote) is invalid.
- to assert that (a voter) is not qualified to vote.
- to expose an organism to a specific substance in order to assess its physiological or immunological activity.
- Archaic. to lay claim to.
- to make or issue a challenge.
- Hunting. (of hounds) to cry or give tongue on picking up the scent.
- donated or given by a private, corporate, or government benefactor on condition that the recipient raise an additional specified amount from the public: a challenge grant.
Origin of challenge
SynonymsSee more synonyms for challenge on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for challenge
Harris is unlikely to see a challenge from Villaraigosa, either.The Golden State Preps for the ‘Red Wedding’ of Senate Races
January 9, 2015
Whatever the FBI says, the truthers will create alternative hypotheses that try to challenge the ‘official story.’Was Sony Hit With a Second Hack?
January 8, 2015
Less than six hours later, the FARC potentially came good on the challenge.Did The U.S.-Cuba Deal Help Drive A Rebel Ceasefire in Colombia?
December 18, 2014
The government has blocked every opportunity to challenge this case on its merits.Special Forces’ $77M ‘Hustler’ Hits Back
December 8, 2014
Where will the home care workers come from to meet that challenge?Care Providers Fight for $15 and a Union
Jasmin Almodovar, Shirley Thompson
December 5, 2014
It is our birthright as citizens of this great Republic, and we'll meet this challenge.
There are some who challenge the expediency of the Imperial character of this realm.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
The challenge was accepted, and the parties met on the following day.Biographical Sketches
He was told that the cardinals were not there to receive a challenge to battle.Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II
Charlotte Mary Yonge
As Vivian had given the challenge, Wharton had the first fire.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
- to invite or summon (someone to do something, esp to take part in a contest)
- (also intr) to call (something) into question; dispute
- to make demands on; stimulatethe job challenges his ingenuity
- to order (a person) to halt and be identified or to give a password
- law to make formal objection to (a juror or jury)
- to lay claim to (attention, etc)
- (intr) hunting (of a hound) to cry out on first encountering the scent of a quarry
- to inject (an experimental animal immunized with a test substance) with disease microorganisms to test for immunity to the disease
- a call to engage in a fight, argument, or contest
- a questioning of a statement or fact; a demand for justification or explanation
- a demanding or stimulating situation, career, object, etc
- a demand by a sentry, watchman, etc, for identification or a password
- US an assertion that a person is not entitled to vote or that a vote is invalid
- law a formal objection to a person selected to serve on a jury (challenge to the polls) or to the whole body of jurors (challenge to the array)
Word Origin and History for challenge
early 14c., "something one can be accused of, a fault, blemish;" mid-14c., "false accusation, malicious charge; accusation of wrong-doing," also "act of laying claim" (to something), from Anglo-French chalenge, Old French chalonge "calumny, slander; demand, opposition," in legal use, "accusation, claim, dispute," from Anglo-French chalengier, Old French chalongier "to accuse, to dispute" (see challenge (v.)). Accusatory connotations died out 17c. Meanings "an objection" in law, etc.; "a calling to fight" are from mid-15c. Meaning "difficult task" is from 1954.
c.1200, "to rebuke," from Old French chalongier "complain, protest; haggle, quibble," from Vulgar Latin calumniare "to accuse falsely," from Latin calumniari "to accuse falsely, misrepresent, slander," from calumnia "trickery" (see calumny).
From late 13c. as "to object to, take exception to;" c.1300 as "to accuse," especially "to accuse falsely," also "to call to account;" late 14c. as "to call to fight." Also used in Middle English with sense "claim, take to oneself." Related: Challenged; challenging.