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Challenges psyop-ups.jpg


[Middle English. calenge, chalange, a. Old French, ca-, chalenge, -lange, orig. -longe (with many other forms) = Pr. calonja, Old Spanish. caloña:{em}L. calumnia, trickery, artifice, misrepresentation, false accusation, malicious action at law; prob. f. calvi, calvere to devise tricks. With the phonetic development in Old French. cf. that of somnium, songe. Old English. had both the Northern French. calenge, and the central F. chalenge; the latter has (as in many other words) survived. Challenge is thus originally the same word as calumny. Some of the senses still in use go back to the Middle English. and Old French. n., but others are taken immediately from the vb., as in blame, etc., so that the sequence is not simple.]

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  • 1. An accusation, charge, reproach, objection. 14th century
  • 2. a. The act of calling to account; esp. the act of a sentry in demanding the countersign. 14th century
b. Hunting. The opening and crying of hounds at finding the scent
  • 3. Law. a. ‘An Exception taken, against either persons or things’ (Blount); spec. an objection made to one or more of the jurymen in a trial, as in principal challenge, peremptory challenge, challenge to the array, to the polls, to the favour. Also, an exception taken to a vote, etc. 13th century
  • 4. A calling in question or disputing; the state of being called in question. 19th century
  • 5. A claim; the act of demanding as a right. In early use, often, a false claim. Obs. 14th century
  • 6. a. An invitation or summons to a trial or contest of any kind; a defiance. 14th century
b. In weakened use: a difficult or demanding task, esp. one seen as a test of one's abilities or character. 20th century
  • 7. spec. A summons to fight, esp. to single combat or duel. 16th century