American English

Definition of challenge noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a new or difficult task that tests someone's ability and skill an exciting/interesting challenge The role will be the biggest challenge of his acting career. to face a challenge (= to have to deal with one) Destruction of the environment is one of the most serious challenges we face. Schools must meet the challenge of new technology (= deal with it successfully). We rose to the challenge and figured out a way to do it. I'm looking forward to the challenge of my new job.
  2. 2an invitation or a suggestion to someone that they should enter a competition, fight, etc. to accept/take up a challenge to mount a challenge
  3. 3challenge (to something) a statement or an action that shows that someone refuses to accept something and questions whether it is right, legal, etc. It was a direct challenge to the president's authority. Their legal challenge was unsuccessful.
  4. 4a demand that someone stop and provide proof of their identity The sentry's challenge forced them to stop and show their identification.
  5. 5(law) an occasion at the beginning of a court case when a lawyer formally questions whether a possible member of a jury is qualified or suitable for that position
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: challenge