Spanish -

How To Say "To Challenge" In Spanish

Are you looking to expand your Spanish vocabulary and express the concept of "to challenge"? In this article, we will explore the translation, meaning, and regional variations of this verb in the Spanish language. Whether you are a language enthusiast or preparing for a trip to a Spanish-speaking country, understanding how to convey the idea of "to challenge" accurately is essential. So let us delve into the linguistic nuances and discover the various ways to express this concept in Spanish!

Buy the 10.000 Most Common Spanish Words eBook set.
Learn Spanish smart and efficiently with the top 10.000 Spanish words.

What is "To Challenge" in Spanish?

When it comes to translating the English verb "to challenge" into Spanish, there are a few options that capture the essence of the concept. The primary Spanish verb equivalent to "to challenge" is desafiar" (IPA: /ˈ However, it is important to note that there might be regional variations in certain Spanish-speaking countries.

Meaning of "To Challenge" in Spanish

The verb "desafiar" carries the meaning of challenging someone or something, either physically or intellectually. It implies pushing boundaries, testing limitations, or daring to go against established norms or expectations. The act of challenging can encompass situations like questioning authority, inviting competition, or provoking change.

—The substantive, adjective, and adverb forms of to challenge (challenge, challenging, challenged, challengingly) are analyzed in other blog posts. 

Synonyms of "To Challenge" in Spanish

Here are some synonyms of "to challenge" in Spanish, along with their definitions:

  • Retar (IPA: /reˈtaɾ/): to challenge: To provoke or invite someone to engage in a contest or competition, often with a sense of defiance or defiance.
  • Provocar [pɾoβoˈkaɾ/): to provoke: To incite or elicit a response from someone, often with the intention of causing a reaction or engaging in conflict.
  • Enfrentar (IPA: /eɱfɾenˈtaɾ/): to confront: To directly face or meet someone or something in a challenging or adversarial manner.
  • Plantar cara (IPA: /planˈtaɾ ˈkaɾa/): to stand up to: To resist or oppose someone or something, often in a courageous or defiant manner.
  • Desobedecer (IPA: /desobeðeˈθeɾ/): to disobey: To refuse to follow or comply with instructions, rules, or authority, often as an act of defiance or rebellion.
  • Contradecir (IPA: /kontɾaðeˈθiɾ/): to contradict: To express or state the opposite of what someone has said or to challenge the validity of their statement or belief.
  • Desafiar el peligro (IPA: /desafiˈaɾ el peˈliɣɾo/): to defy danger: To knowingly and willingly engage in risky or dangerous activities, disregarding potential harm or consequences.
  • Cuestionar (IPA: /kwestjoˈnaɾ/): to question: To raise doubts or objections about something, often challenging its validity, truthfulness, or effectiveness.
  • Desafiar los límites (IPA: /desafiˈaɾ los ˈlimites/): to push the limits: To go beyond conventional boundaries or norms, often in pursuit of personal growth, achievement, or innovation.
  • Despreciar (IPA: /despɾeˈθjaɾ/): to scorn: To show contempt or disdain towards someone or something, often by disregarding or undervaluing their worth or importance.

4 eBooks of the Spanish Frequency Dictionaries series by MostUsedWords

Take a look at our series of frequency dictionaries to learn Spanish words fast. Stop learning hard, and start learning smart!

How to Say "To Challenge" in Spanish: Sample Sentences

Here are five sample sentences you can use to say "to challenge" in Spanish:

  • Ella desafió a sus oponentes a un juego de ajedrez.

(She challenged her opponents to a game of chess.)

  • ¿Te atreves a desafiar las normas establecidas?

(Do you dare to challenge the established norms?)

  • Los estudiantes retaron al profesor con preguntas difíciles.

(The students challenged the teacher with difficult questions.)

  • El equipo de fútbol busca retar a los campeones actuales.

(The soccer team is looking to challenge the current champions.)

  • El científico desafió las teorías existentes con su investigación innovadora.

(The scientist challenged the existing theories with his innovative research.)

All MostUsedWords Spanish Frequency Dictionaries in Paperback
Take a look at what our customers have to say, and get your Spanish Frequency Dictionaries in paperback here! We offer different levels:


In conclusion, the primary translation for the English verb "to challenge" is "desafiar" in Spanish. However, synonyms such as "retar" might be properly used. Understanding the regional differences and nuances of vocabulary is crucial for effective communication. By using the appropriate term, you can accurately convey the concept of challenging in Spanish-speaking contexts. So, challenge yourself and embrace the richness of the Spanish language as you expand your linguistic horizons. ¡Buena suerte!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published