Origin of challenge

1175–1225; Middle English chalenge < Old French, variant of chalonge < Latin calumnia calumny
Related formschal·lenge·a·ble, adjectivepre·chal·lenge, verb (used with object), pre·chal·lenged, pre·chal·leng·ing.re·chal·lenge, verb (used with object), re·chal·lenged, re·chal·leng·ing.un·chal·lenge·a·ble, adjectiveun·chal·lenge·a·bly, adverb

Synonyms for challenge

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for challengeable


verb (mainly tr)

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)
Derived Formschallengeable, adjectivechallenger, noun

Word Origin for challenge

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

Word Origin and History for challengeable



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.



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper