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

  • adj. Calling for full use of one's abilities or resources in a difficult but stimulating effort: a challenging course of study; a challenging role for an inexperienced performer.
  • adj. Absorbing; intriguing: a challenging idea.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of challenge.
  • adj. Difficult, hard to do.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. requiring full use of one's abilities or resources.
  • adj. disposed to or engaged in defiance of established authority.

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

  • adj. stimulating interest or thought
  • adj. disturbingly provocative
  • adj. requiring full use of your abilities or resources


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It was perhaps an understatement, but the evaluation continued, “The word challenging appears to personify this individual, who may well view life in terms of overcoming obstacles and challenges, even if he has to create them artificially . . .”

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  • Can you talk -- I think at the end of the day, '11 was up about 4% and so I'm just wondering, you mentioned the word challenging and volatile many times on this call.

  • When you find yourself reaching for the word "challenging" to describe your dinner and wanting to shout: "Who put all the bloody mushrooms in my pudding?"

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  • Linford greeted him coolly, and Louis looked him directly in the eye, his expression challenging.

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  • The president's admission that our economy faces what he called challenging times does little to ease the plight of working men and women and their families in this country.

    CNN Transcript Mar 17, 2008

  • It's what I call challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations.

    CNN Transcript Aug 29, 2007

  • Focus on costs bolsters National Australia Bank with strong quarterly earnings report NATIONAL Australia Bank has reported cash earnings for the June quarter of $1.4 billion in what it described as "challenging operating conditions". | Top Stories

  • Embotelladoras Arca has booked a drop in profits in what it described as a challenging period for the beverage industry.

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  • After what he calls a challenging regular-season schedule, the Indians are battle-tested and ready to step up to an even higher level of competition, Morgan said. Stories

  • Germany's leader prodded Greece to implement its austerity program on Monday at what she called a challenging time for the euro, voicing confidence that Athens "can do it."

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