Definition of be on one's mettle in English:

be on one's mettle


  • Be ready or forced to do one's best in a demanding situation.

    ‘Saturday's game will be a tricky one and we'll have to be on our mettle from the start’
    • ‘But they are going very well so we have to be on our mettle’
    • ‘They will need to be on their mettle again to hold out the talented Stars attack.’
    • ‘After the first-half performance it is not a bad point because no matter who you are playing against you have got to be on your mettle for 90 minutes.’
    • ‘Turning around at 10-0, York knew that they had to be on their mettle to defend their lead against a determined Cleckheaton side now playing with the slight slope of the pitch and the benefit of the wind.’
    • ‘On the back of the last debacle in the east of the country one would have thought it would have been incumbent on any authority to be on their mettle and perform better.’
    • ‘As someone who has hitherto needed to reject one thing before moving on to another, Juliet is on her mettle, and she knows it.’
    • ‘York were on their mettle from the off and led 22-13 at the five ends stage with two rinks winning and two rinks drawing.’
    • ‘Everyone's playing for their place and has to be on their mettle at all times.’
    • ‘So far they have beaten teams from the bottom two sections and are clearly in fine fettle at the moment, but they will need to be on their mettle on Sunday.’
    • ‘The crowd at the Halton Stadium can be a vociferous lot anyway, so we will have to be on our mettle.’