What does challenge mean?

Definitions for challenge
ˈtʃæl ɪndʒchal·lenge

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word challenge.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. challengenoun

    a demanding or stimulating situation

    "they reacted irrationally to the challenge of Russian power"

  2. challengenoun

    a call to engage in a contest or fight

  3. challengenoun

    questioning a statement and demanding an explanation

    "his challenge of the assumption that Japan is still our enemy"

  4. challengenoun

    a formal objection to the selection of a particular person as a juror

  5. challengeverb

    a demand by a sentry for a password or identification

  6. challenge, dispute, gainsayverb

    take exception to

    "She challenged his claims"

  7. challengeverb

    issue a challenge to

    "Fischer challenged Spassky to a match"

  8. challengeverb

    ask for identification

    "The illegal immigrant was challenged by the border guard"

  9. challenge, take exceptionverb

    raise a formal objection in a court of law


  1. challengenoun

    An instigation or antagonization intended to convince a person to perform an action they otherwise would not.

  2. challengenoun

    A difficult task, especially one that the person making the attempt finds more enjoyable because of that difficulty.

  3. challengenoun

    A judge's interest in the result of the case for which he or she should not be allowed to sit the case, e.g. a conflict of interest.

    Consanguinity in direct line is a challenge for a judge when he or she is sitting cases.

  4. challengenoun

    The act of appealing a ruling or decision of a court of administrative agency.

  5. challengenoun

    The act of seeking to remove a judge, arbitrator or other judicial or semi-judicial figure for reasons of alleged bias or incapacity.

    We're still waiting to hear how the court rules on our challenge of the arbitrator based on conflict of interest.

  6. challengenoun

    An attempt to take possession; a tackle

  7. challengeverb

    To invite someone to take part in a competition.

  8. challengeverb

    To dare someone.

  9. challengeverb

    To dispute something.

  10. challengeverb

    To make a formal objection to a juror.

  11. Etymology: From chalonge, chalenge, from calumnia.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Challengenoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    I never in my life
    Did hear a challenge urg’d more modestly. William Shakespeare, H. IV.

    There must be no challenge of superiority, or discountenancing of freedom. Jeremy Collier, of Friendship.

    You are mine enemy, I make my challenge,
    You shall not be my judge. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

  2. To CHALLENGEverb

    Etymology: chalenger, Fr.

    The prince of Wales stept forth before the king,
    And, nephew, challeng’d you to single fight. William Shakespeare, H. IV.

    Thus form’d for speed, he challenges the wind,
    And leaves the Scythian arrow far behind;
    He scours along the field with loosen’d reins. Dryden.

    I challenge any man to make any pretence to power by right of fatherhood, either intelligible or possible. John Locke.

    Were the grac’d person of our Banquo present,
    Whom I may rather challenge for unkindness. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Though only twelve are sworn, yet twenty four are to be returned, to supply the defects or want of appearance of those that are challenged off, or make default. Matthew Hale, Common Law.

    The utter disturbance of that divine order, whereby the pre-eminence of chiefest acceptation is by the best things worthily challenged. Richard Hooker, b. i. § 7.

    Which of you, shall we say, doth love us most?
    That we our largest bounty may extend,
    Where nature doth with merit challenge. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    And so much duty as my mother shew’d
    To you, preferring you before her father;
    So much I challenge, that I may profess
    Due to the moor, my lord. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    Had you not been their father, these white flakes
    Did challenge pity of them. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    So when a tyger sucks the bullocks blood,
    A famish’d lion, issuing from the wood,
    Roars loudly fierce, and challenges the food. John Dryden, Fables.

    Hast thou yet drawn o’er young Juba?
    That still would recommend thee more to Cæsar,
    And challenge better terms. Joseph Addison, Cato.

    I will now challenge you of your promise, to give me certain rules as to the principles of blazonry. Henry Peacham, on Drawing.


  1. challenge

    A challenge refers to a difficult task or situation that requires effort, skill, or determination to overcome or achieve. It often involves obstacles, setbacks, or complexities that test a person's abilities, knowledge, or resilience. Challenges can be found in various domains such as personal, professional, academic, athletic, or social settings and serve as opportunities for growth, development, and improvement.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Challengenoun

    an invitation to engage in a contest or controversy of any kind; a defiance; specifically, a summons to fight a duel; also, the letter or message conveying the summons

  2. Challengenoun

    the act of a sentry in halting any one who appears at his post, and demanding the countersign

  3. Challengenoun

    a claim or demand

  4. Challengenoun

    the opening and crying of hounds at first finding the scent of their game

  5. Challengenoun

    an exception to a juror or to a member of a court martial, coupled with a demand that he should be held incompetent to act; the claim of a party that a certain person or persons shall not sit in trial upon him or his cause

  6. Challengenoun

    an exception to a person as not legally qualified to vote. The challenge must be made when the ballot is offered

  7. Challengenoun

    to call to a contest of any kind; to call to answer; to defy

  8. Challengenoun

    to call, invite, or summon to answer for an offense by personal combat

  9. Challengenoun

    to claim as due; to demand as a right

  10. Challengenoun

    to censure; to blame

  11. Challengenoun

    to question or demand the countersign from (one who attempts to pass the lines); as, the sentinel challenged us, with "Who comes there?"

  12. Challengenoun

    to take exception to; question; as, to challenge the accuracy of a statement or of a quotation

  13. Challengenoun

    to object to or take exception to, as to a juror, or member of a court

  14. Challengenoun

    to object to the reception of the vote of, as on the ground that the person in not qualified as a voter

  15. Challengeverb

    to assert a right; to claim a place

  16. Etymology: [OE. chalengen to accuse, claim, OF. chalengier, chalongier, to claim, accuse, dispute, fr. L. calumniar to attack with false accusations. See Challenge, n., and cf. Calumniate.]


  1. Challenge

    Challenge is a United Kingdom digital TV channel that mostly airs programmes dedicated to game shows. It is owned by BSkyB. The channel mostly transmits repeats of programmes acquired from UK terrestrial channel archives and a few from around the world, with a few original productions commissioned by the channel itself, or co-commissioned with another broadcaster.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Challenge

    chal′enj, v.t. to call on one to settle a matter by fighting or by any kind of contest: to claim as one's own: to accuse; to object to.—n. a summons to a contest of any kind, but esp. a duel: a calling of any one or anything in question: exception to a juror: the demand of a sentry.—adj. Chall′engeable, that may be challenged.—n. Chall′enger, one who challenges to a combat of any kind: a claimant: one who objects, calls in question. [O. Fr. chalenge, a dispute, a claim—L. calumnia, a false accusation—calvi, calvĕre, to deceive.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. challenge

    Any process carried out by one unit or person with the object of ascertaining the friendly or hostile character or identity of another. See also countersign; password.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. challenge

    The demand of a sentinel to any one who approaches his post. Also, the defiance to fight.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. challenge

    The act of a sentinel in questioning or demanding the countersign from those who appear at his post.

  2. challenge

    See Appendix, Articles of War, 26, 27, and 28.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'challenge' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1959

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'challenge' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3221

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'challenge' in Nouns Frequency: #743

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'challenge' in Verbs Frequency: #482

How to pronounce challenge?

How to say challenge in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of challenge in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of challenge in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of challenge in a Sentence

  1. George Ratiu:

    With not enough homes for sale, both first-time buyers and homeowners looking for a trade-up home are locked in place by surging prices and higher interest rates, the real challenge for Americans is that the high inflation is eating away at the growth in wages and salaries, on top of spiking housing and living costs.

  2. Vanessa Nakate:

    There is far too little evidence of the $ 100 billion per year that was promised to help climate vulnerable countries to meet this challenge. But those funds were promised to arrive by 2020 and we are still waiting, you can not adapt to lost cultures, traditions and history. You can not adapt to starvation. It's time for leaders to put loss and damage at the center of the climate negotiations.

  3. Carrie Severino:

    The biggest question that was left in limbo is the next big challenge: how to balance these new-found constitutional rights and a long-standing and explicit right to exercise religion. That’ll be the next battleground.

  4. Peter Henning:

    This is an amorphous offense, which makes it a challenge for both sides, both for prosecutors and the defense.

  5. De Haan:

    This is not a political issue. It's more of a Covid-19 challenge simply because of how Covid-19 decimated fuel demand last year, while prices are much higher this year than last year, it's because of the recovery, the economic recovery. More Americans are getting out, gasoline demand has soared from a year ago.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for challenge

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"challenge." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/challenge>.

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