Synonyms of challenge in English:



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


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  • 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



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.

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