Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “challenge”

challenge

noun uk   /ˈtʃæl.ɪndʒ/ us  

challenge noun (DIFFICULT JOB)

B1 [C or U] (the situation of being faced with) something that needs great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully and therefore tests a person's ability: Finding a solution to this problem is one of the greatest challenges faced by scientists today. You know me - I like a challenge. It's going to be a difficult job but I'm sure she'll rise to the challenge.

challenge noun (INVITATION)

[C] an invitation to compete or take part, especially in a game or argument: "I bet you can't eat all that food on your plate." "Is that a challenge?" [+ to infinitive] She issued a challenge to her rival candidates to take part in a public debate.

challenge noun (QUESTION)

C2 [C or U] asking if something is true or legal: The result of the vote poses a serious challenge to the government's credibility. Because of the way this research was conducted, its findings are open to challenge.

challenge noun (INSTRUCTION)

[C] an instruction given by a soldier or guard at a border or gate, telling someone to stand still and say their name and reasons for being there

challenge noun (REFUSAL)

[C] specialized law the act of refusing to accept someone as a member of a jury: A challenge to a member of the jury should be made before the trial begins.

challenge

verb [T] uk   /ˈtʃæl.ɪndʒ/ us  

challenge verb [T] (INVITE)

to invite someone to compete or take part, especially in a game or argument: Tina has challenged me to a game of poker

challenge verb [T] (DOUBT)

B2 to question if something is true or legal: Children challenge their parents' authority far more nowadays than they did in the past.

challenge verb [T] (TEST)

to test someone's ability or determination

challenge verb [T] (STOP)

to tell someone at a border or gate to stand still and say their name and reasons for being there

challenge verb [T] (REFUSE TO ACCEPT)

specialized law to refuse to accept someone as a member of a jury
(Definition of challenge from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of challenge?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Difficult situations and unpleasant experiences, but you might be interested in these topics from the Easy and difficult topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “challenge” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

wave

to raise your hand and move it from side to side as a way of greeting someone, telling someone to do something, or adding emphasis to an expression

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More