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challenge vb. (1 the orig. sense, the ultimate etym. of the word being Latin ‘calumniari’=to accuse falsely; 2, 3 the chief Eliz. uses)
1. to accuse, bring a charge against Tit. I. i. 340 “c-d of wrongs,” Mac. III. iv. 42 “ for unkindness.”
2. to lay claim to, claim as due, demand or urge as a right LLL. V. ii. 813, R2 II. iii. 134 “I am a subject, And challenge law,” 3H6 III. ii. 86, IV. vi. 6, IV. vii. 23, Oth. II. i. 214 “his worthiness Does challenge much respect,” Lucr. 58; absol. Lr. I. i. 55 “Where nature doth with merit challenge.”
3. to summon to fight or single combat (freq.) Ado I. i. 42, H8 I. i. 34; Tw.N. II. iii. 137 “to challenge him the field.” ∥ The foll. variants of the last phrase occur: ‘to challenge a person in the field’ (1556), ‘into the field’ (1693), ‘to challenge the field one of another’ (1693).
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hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (5):
    • William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 3.4
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 1.1
    • William Shakespeare, Richard II, 2.3
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 2.3
    • William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece
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