Should you take this quiz on 鈥渟hall鈥 versus 鈥渟hould鈥? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of challenge

First recorded in 1175鈥1225; Middle English chalenge, from Old French, variant of chalonge, from Latin calumnia 鈥渇alse statement鈥; see calumny

historical usage of challenge

The English verb challenge comes from Middle English kalange(n), chalenge(n) 鈥渢o accuse, claim,鈥 which comes from the Old French verb calonger, calanger, chalonger, chalanger (with still more variants) 鈥渢o protest, complain,鈥 from Latin calumni膩r墨 鈥渢o bring false accusations, interpret wrongly, misrepresent, criticize unfairly,鈥 itself a derivation of the noun calumnia, with legal meanings 鈥渇alse accusation, false claim, false pretenses, the making of unfounded objections, trickery.鈥 (The Old French noun chalenge, chalonge is a regular development of Latin calumnia: the cluster -mni- becomes -nge in French, as Latin somnium 鈥渄ream鈥 becomes Old French songe with the same meaning.)
Latin calumnia is the direct source of calumny, 鈥渁 false and malicious statement,鈥 so calumny and challenge are doublets (words deriving ultimately from the same source). In fact, an earlier, now obsolete meaning of challenge was 鈥渁n accusation or false claim.鈥
The legal sense of challenge, 鈥渢o object to (a juror or evidence),鈥 dates from the 16th century. The verb sense 鈥渢o summon someone to a fight or a duel鈥 first appears in Shakespeare鈥檚 Love鈥檚 Labour鈥檚 Lost (1598).


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use challenge in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for challenge

/ (藞t蕛忙l瑟nd蕭) /

verb (mainly tr)

Derived forms of challenge

challengeable, adjectivechallenger, noun

Word Origin for challenge

C13: from Old French chalenge, from Latin calumnia calumny
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012