Etymology
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challenge (n.)

early 14c., "something one can be accused of, a fault, blemish;" mid-14c., "false accusation, malicious charge; accusation of wrong-doing," also "act of laying claim" (to something), from Anglo-French chalenge, Old French chalonge "calumny, slander; demand, opposition," in legal use, "accusation, claim, dispute," from Anglo-French chalengier, Old French chalongier "to accuse, to dispute" (see challenge (v.)). Accusatory connotations died out 17c. Meanings "an objection" in law, etc.; "a calling to fight" are from mid-15c. Meaning "difficult task" is from 1954.

Origin and meaning of challenge

challenge (v.)

c. 1200, "to rebuke," from Old French chalongier "complain, protest; haggle, quibble," from Vulgar Latin *calumniare "to accuse falsely," from Latin calumniari "to accuse falsely, misrepresent, slander," from calumnia "trickery" (see calumny).

From late 13c. as "to object to, take exception to;" c. 1300 as "to accuse," especially "to accuse falsely," also "to call to account;" late 14c. as "to call to fight." Also used in Middle English with sense "claim, take to oneself." Related: Challenged; challenging.

Origin and meaning of challenge

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Definitions of challenge
1
challenge (n.)
a demanding or stimulating situation;
they reacted irrationally to the challenge of Russian power
challenge (n.)
a call to engage in a contest or fight;
challenge (n.)
questioning a statement and demanding an explanation;
his challenge of the assumption that Japan is still our enemy
challenge (n.)
a formal objection to the selection of a particular person as a juror;
challenge (n.)
a demand by a sentry for a password or identification;
2
challenge (v.)
take exception to;
She challenged his claims
Synonyms: dispute / gainsay
challenge (v.)
issue a challenge to;
Fischer challenged Spassky to a match
challenge (v.)
ask for identification;
The illegal immigrant was challenged by the border guard
challenge (v.)
raise a formal objection in a court of law;
Synonyms: take exception
From wordnet.princeton.edu