from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A call to engage in a contest, fight, or competition: a challenge to a duel.
  • n. An act or statement of defiance; a call to confrontation: a challenge to the government's authority.
  • n. A demand for explanation or justification; a calling into question: a challenge to a theory.
  • n. A sentry's call to an unknown party for proper identification.
  • n. A test of one's abilities or resources in a demanding but stimulating undertaking: a career that offers a challenge.
  • n. A claim that a vote is invalid or that a voter is unqualified.
  • n. Law A formal objection to the inclusion of a prospective juror in a jury.
  • n. Immunology The induction or evaluation of an immune response in an organism by administration of a specific antigen to which it has been sensitized.
  • transitive v. To call to engage in a contest, fight, or competition: challenged me to a game of chess.
  • transitive v. To invite with defiance; dare: challenged him to contradict her. See Synonyms at defy.
  • transitive v. To take exception to; call into question; dispute: a book that challenges established beliefs.
  • transitive v. To order to halt and be identified, as by a sentry.
  • transitive v. Law To take formal objection to (a prospective juror).
  • transitive v. To question the qualifications of (a voter) or validity of (a vote).
  • transitive v. To have due claim to; call for: events that challenge our attention.
  • transitive v. To summon to action, effort, or use; stimulate: a problem that challenges the imagination.
  • transitive v. Immunology To induce or evaluate an immune response in (an organism) by administering a specific antigen to which it has been sensitized.
  • intransitive v. To make or give voice to a challenge.
  • intransitive v. To begin barking upon picking up the scent. Used of hunting dogs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An instigation or antagonization intended to convince a person to perform an action they otherwise would not.
  • n. A difficult task, especially one that the person making the attempt finds more enjoyable because of that difficulty.
  • n. A bid to overcome something.
  • n. 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.
  • n. The act of appealing a ruling or decision of a court of administrative agency.
  • n. The act of seeking to remove a judge, arbitrator or other judicial or semi-judicial figure for reasons of alleged bias or incapacity.
  • n. An attempt to take possession; a tackle
  • v. To invite someone to take part in a competition.
  • v. To dare someone.
  • v. To dispute something.
  • v. To make a formal objection to a juror.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. The act of a sentry in halting any one who appears at his post, and demanding the countersign.
  • n. A claim or demand.
  • n. The opening and crying of hounds at first finding the scent of their game.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An exception to a person as not legally qualified to vote. The challenge must be made when the ballot is offered.
  • intransitive v. To assert a right; to claim a place.
  • transitive v. To call to a contest of any kind; to call to answer; to defy.
  • transitive v. To call, invite, or summon to answer for an offense by personal combat.
  • transitive v. To claim as due; to demand as a right.
  • transitive v. To censure; to blame.
  • transitive v. To question or demand the countersign from (one who attempts to pass the lines)
  • transitive v. To take exception to; question.
  • transitive v. To object to or take exception to, as to a juror, or member of a court.
  • transitive v. To object to the reception of the vote of, as on the ground that the person in not qualified as a voter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To accuse; call to answer; censure.
  • To lay claim to; demand as due or as a right: as, the Supreme Being challenges our reverence and homage.
  • To call, invite, or summon to single combat or duel.
  • To call to a contest; call into opposing activity; invite to a trial; defy: as, to challenge a man to prove what he asserts (implying defiance).
  • To take exception to; object to (a person or thing); call in question: as, to challenge the accuracy of a statement. Specifically
  • In law, to object or take exception to, as a juror or jury panel. See challenge, n., 9—7. Milit., to demand the countersign from: as, a sentry is bound to challenge every person appearing near his post. See challenge, n., 6.
  • In hunting, to whimper or cry when the scent of game is first discovered: said of a hound.
  • n. Accusation; charge.
  • n. A claim or demand; pretension.
  • n. A summons or invitation to a duel; a calling upon one to engage in single combat, as for the vindication of the challenger's honor; a defiance.
  • n. Hence An invitation to a contest or trial of any kind: as, a challenge to a rubber at whist; a challenge to a public debate; “a challenge to controversy,”
  • n. The letter or message containing the summons to a combat or contest.
  • n. Milit., the act of a sentry in demanding the countersign from any one who approaches his post.
  • n. In hunting, the opening cry of hounds on first finding the scent of their game.
  • n. A calling in question; an exception taken, as to the tenability of a proposition, or a person's right to do something or to hold something.
  • n. In law, an objection to a juror; the claim of a party that a certain juror shall not sit in the cause.
  • n. In the East Indies, an exception taken by a ryot to the assessment of a neighbor's holding when it is less than that of his own poorer holding, accompanied by an offer to take over the neighbor's holding at a higher assessment, and a claim for the assessment on his own to be correspondingly reduced.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. take exception to
  • n. a call to engage in a contest or fight
  • n. a demand by a sentry for a password or identification
  • n. a formal objection to the selection of a particular person as a juror
  • v. ask for identification
  • n. a demanding or stimulating situation
  • v. issue a challenge to
  • v. raise a formal objection in a court of law
  • n. questioning a statement and demanding an explanation


Middle English chalenge, from Old French, from Latin calumnia, trickery, false accusation; see calumny. V., from Middle English chalengen, from Old French chalangier, from Latin calumniārī, from calumnia.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French chalonge, chalenge, from Latin calumnia. (Wiktionary)


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