1. a call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc.
  2. something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, special effort, etc.: Space exploration offers a challenge to humankind.
  3. a call to fight, as a battle, a duel, etc.
  4. a demand to explain, justify, etc.: a challenge to the treasurer to itemize expenditures.
  5. difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it.
  6. Military. the demand of a sentry for identification or a countersign.
  7. 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.
  8. the assertion that a vote is invalid or that a voter is not legally qualified.
  9. Biology. the process of inducing or assessing physiological or immunological activity by exposing an organism to a specific substance.
  10. Hunting. the crying of a hound on finding a scent.
verb (used with object), chal·lenged, chal·leng·ing.
  1. to summon to a contest of skill, strength, etc.
  2. to take exception to; call in question: to challenge the wisdom of a procedure.
  3. to demand as something due or rightful.
  4. Military. to halt and demand identification or countersign from.
  5. Law. to take formal exception to (a juror or jury).
  6. to have a claim to; invite; arouse; stimulate: a matter which challenges attention.
  7. to assert that (a vote) is invalid.
  8. to assert that (a voter) is not qualified to vote.
  9. to expose an organism to a specific substance in order to assess its physiological or immunological activity.
  10. Archaic. to lay claim to.
verb (used without object), chal·lenged, chal·leng·ing.
  1. to make or issue a challenge.
  2. Hunting. (of hounds) to cry or give tongue on picking up the scent.
  1. 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

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··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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for rechallenge


verb (mainly tr)
  1. to invite or summon (someone to do something, esp to take part in a contest)
  2. (also intr) to call (something) into question; dispute
  3. to make demands on; stimulatethe job challenges his ingenuity
  4. to order (a person) to halt and be identified or to give a password
  5. law to make formal objection to (a juror or jury)
  6. to lay claim to (attention, etc)
  7. (intr) hunting (of a hound) to cry out on first encountering the scent of a quarry
  8. to inject (an experimental animal immunized with a test substance) with disease microorganisms to test for immunity to the disease
  1. a call to engage in a fight, argument, or contest
  2. a questioning of a statement or fact; a demand for justification or explanation
  3. a demanding or stimulating situation, career, object, etc
  4. a demand by a sentry, watchman, etc, for identification or a password
  5. US an assertion that a person is not entitled to vote or that a vote is invalid
  6. 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 rechallenge



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