Share this entry

Synonyms of challenge in English:


  • 1 he accepted the challenge
    dare, provocation;
  • 2 a challenge to his leadership
    test, questioning, dispute, stand, opposition, confrontation
  • 3 it was proving quite a challenge
    problem, difficult task, test, trial
  • verb

    Back to top  
  • 1 we challenged their statistics
    question, disagree with, dispute, take issue with, protest against, call into question, object to
  • 2 he challenged one of my men to a duel
    dare, summon, throw down the gauntlet to
  • 3 changes that would challenge them
    test, tax, strain, make demands on;
    stretch, stimulate, inspire, excite
  • Usage


    The use of challenged with a preceding adverb (e.g., physically challenged, originally intended to give a more positive tone than such terms as disabled or handicapped) arose in the US in the 1980s. Despite the originally serious intention, the term rapidly became stalled by uses whose intention was to make fun of the attempts at euphemism and whose tone was usually clearly ironic: examples include cerebrally challenged (not very smart), follicularly challenged (bald or balding), vertically challenged (short), etc.
    Definition of challenge in:
    Share this entry

    What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

    Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

    Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources