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See also: Challenger



From Middle English chalenger; equivalent to challenge +‎ -er.


challenger (plural challengers)

  1. One who challenges; especially, one who plays against the current champion of a game or contest in hopes of winning and becoming the new champion.
    The champion hopes to defeat his new challenger in the game to remain undefeated.
    One child stood as king of the hill, and tried to withstand the pushes and shoves of his challengers.
    • 2020, Shane Goldmacher, “Throw Out the Debate Playbook: Biden and Sanders to Clash Amid Crisis”, in The New York Times[1]:
      Debates are often unpredictable, but it is especially hard to game out how this debate featuring a moderate standard-bearer and a liberal challenger will unfold and how people will process it. Hundreds of thousands of viewers, if not millions, will have been personally affected by Sunday, as public gathering spaces are shuttered, schools are closed and on Thursday the stock market plunged by the largest percentage in decades (it snapped back upward on Friday).


Derived terms[edit]





  1. to challenge


This is a regular -er verb, but the stem is written challenge- before endings that begin with -a- or -o- (to indicate that the -g- is a “soft” /ʒ/ and not a “hard” /ɡ/). This spelling-change occurs in all verbs in -ger, such as neiger and manger.

Further reading[edit]