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The words "challenge" and "challenger" are well-known, but is there such a term as "challengee" - as I read somewhere? In other words, what would be an appropriate term to describe the person challenged, for instance, to play a challenge match? Unsure whether to ask for the "antonym" of challenger.

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Google first – SmokerAtStadium Mar 26 '13 at 8:18
When the challenge involves trying to wrest an office or championship away from someone or something that currently holds it, your choices are numerous. In a political contest, the person being challenged is called the officeholder or incumbent, and the challenger is called the challenger, aspirant, upstart, or hopeful. In a sports contest, the top-rated person or team being challenged may be called the league (or division or bracket) leader, the current (or reigning or defending) champion, or the top dog. – Sven Yargs Mar 19 '14 at 18:16

However Opponent is in my opinion a better word for the other person in a contest

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Aha thanks Mplungjan! Opponent sounds much better. Someone also proposed Defender (not Defendant as in the legal context). Defender, as opposed to challenger, implies defending a ranking position. – Tobias Mar 26 '13 at 9:44

Challenger and Challenged (sometimes "the challenged")are perfectly acceptable.

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Thanks this makes sense. I asked because I used the word in a bilingual form for my tennis club. In my language (Afrikaans) we have a single word for both, but in English its a bit lenghty to write "the challenged" (person), or "Name of the challenged player". Better then to qualify it as "challenged player" since "challenged person" has the euphemistic connotation of disability. – Tobias Mar 26 '13 at 8:35
'Challengee' has 33 000 Google hits, though probably some are for strange applications. If it's a students' tennis club, the members would probably go happily with 'challengee'; if it has a rather more sedate membership, the word-or-is-it? is best avoided. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 26 '13 at 12:20

I would go for the one challenged, which emphasises the binary relation with the challenger. It has some good results in Google books, among which :

The public scrutinizes the reaction of the one challenged.

(Paul in the Greco-Roman World: A Handbook edited by J. Paul Sampley)

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The term generally used in boxing (which would be a good fit for what you want) is "defending champion."

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