a person or thing that challenges.
Boxing. a boxer who fights a champion for his championship title.
(initial capital letter, italics) U.S. Aerospace. the second space shuttle to orbit and return to earth: exploded 1½ min. after launch on Jan. 28, 1986, causing the death of all seven on board.

Origin of challenger

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at challenge, -er1
Related formsnon·chal·leng·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for challenger

contender, darer, defier

Examples from the Web for challenger

Contemporary Examples of challenger

Historical Examples of challenger

Word Origin and History for challenger

late 13c., "a claimant;" mid-14c., "one who makes false charges;" mid-15c., "one who disputes something, objector," from Anglo-French chalengeour (Old French chalongeor "slanderer, petitioner, plaintiff"), agent noun from challenge (v.). Specific sense of "one who calls out another in a contest" is from 1510s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper