The capacity to induce tumour-cell specific apoptosis represents the most unique feature of the TNF receptor (TNFR) family member CD40. Recent studies on the signalling events triggered by its membrane-presented ligand CD40L (mCD40L) in normal and malignant epithelial cells have started to unravel an exquisite context and cell type specificity for the functional effects of CD40. Here, we demonstrate that, in comparison to other carcinomas, mCD40L triggered strikingly more rapid apoptosis in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) cells, underpinned by its ability to entrain two concurrently operating signalling axes. CD40 ligation initially activates TNFR-associated factor 3 (TRAF3) and subsequently NADPH oxidase (NOX)/Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1)-signalling and induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to mediate p38/JNK- and ROS-dependent cell death. At that point, p38/JNK signalling directly activates the mitochondrial pathway, and triggers rapid induction of intracellular TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) that signals from internal compartments to initiate extrinsic caspase-10-asscociated apoptosis, leading to truncated Bid (tBid)-activated mitochondrial signalling. p38 and JNK are essential both for direct mitochondrial apoptosis induction and the TRAIL/caspase-10/tBid pathway, but their involvement follows functional hierarchy and temporally controlled interplay, as p38 function is required for JNK phosphorylation. By engaging both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways to activate apoptosis via two signals simultaneously, CD40 can accelerate CRC cell death. Our findings further unravel the multi-faceted properties of the CD40/mCD40L dyad, highlighted by the novel TNFR crosstalk that accelerates tumour cell-specific death, and may have implications for the use of CD40 as a therapeutic target.