One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A stout glove with a long loose wrist.
- ‘He had cold, dead eyes and wore a long, thick coat and had black gauntlets on his hands.’
- ‘Her hair was hidden beneath a bandanna and she wore a cloth vest, jean shorts and black, fingerless gauntlets.’
- ‘She had goldsmiths make a matching bracelet, which was always worn on her right wrist, over fingerless black gauntlets.’
- ‘He wore a skin tight black muscle shirt, thick black jean pants, and gauntlets with open fingers.’
- ‘Her leather gauntlets were always a part of her attire, as falcon handling was one of her favorite hobbies.’
- 1.1historical An armored glove, as worn by a medieval knight.
- ‘In other words, the most successful stabilization force is one that wears both the mailed gauntlet and the velvet glove.’
- ‘Both men are in complete armor; the duke's helmet and gauntlets lie at his sides, while Saint George, a dragon coiled around his legs, removes his helmet with his right hand.’
- ‘Some knights were cited as wearing mail gloves under their plated gauntlets for added strength.’
- ‘He donned the mail breastplate and leggings, and put on a pair of steel gauntlets and boots.’
- ‘He dropped his swords and pummelled the paladin's helm with his armoured gauntlets, knocking him backwards and disorientating him for a second.’
- 1.2 The part of a glove covering the wrist.
- ‘They're made of goatskin, with extra-long gauntlets for up-to-the-elbow protection.’
- ‘The gauntlet on the glove was to cover up the aluminum, so it wouldn't heat up in the light.’
- ‘She flexed her wrists, feeling the leather gauntlets stretch and slide along her forearms.’
take up (or throw down) the gauntlet
Accept (or issue) a challenge.
challenge, dareView synonyms
- ‘Others took up the gauntlet and worked and a proud club has even greater reason now to be proud.’
- ‘The game also lets you take up the gauntlet of 14 challenges such as trying to win promotion, or avoiding relegation in six weeks, so not to tie you down to a long season if you don't have time.’
- ‘We should throw down the gauntlet and challenge this absurd perception.’
- ‘Now after an absence of 16 years, if not a gauntlet, then a golfing glove has been thrown down for the competition to re-open.’
- ‘The duty of the champion was to present himself in full armour on horseback at the coronation banquet in Westminster Hall, to throw down the gauntlet, and challenge anyone who denied the king's title.’
- ‘When bills to establish the National Science Foundation died in Congress, or were vetoed by President Truman over issues concerning control of the foundation, the Navy took up the gauntlet.’
- ‘He then throws down the gauntlet by challenging educational reformers to come up with suitable new methods of teaching morality.’
- ‘Forty-two golfers picked up the gauntlet and took on the course, many without caddies, as the club had chosen to give them a holiday for the occasion!’
- ‘He also throws down the gauntlet to those cynics and critics of the council and the way councillors do their business.’
- ‘In the February issue, we threw down the gauntlet: Make this the year you cut your handicap in half.’
Late Middle English: from Old French gantelet, diminutive of gant ‘glove’, of Germanic origin.
1Go through an intimidating or dangerous crowd, place, or experience in order to reach a goal.‘they had to run the gauntlet of television cameras’
- ‘Traffic officers believe that while occasional drink-drivers have been deterred from running the gauntlet, hardened offenders are continuing to take chances with other people's lives on the roads.’
- ‘Larger objects may run the gauntlet of the atmosphere and reach the surface, but this is rare and only happens a few times a year.’
- ‘Unofficial paths and access ways are now closed off to walkers, cyclists and horse riders, forcing them to run the gauntlet of the traffic on the roads to reach the dwindling recreation areas.’
- ‘But once outside its confines, he will be struggling - he will inevitably have to run the gauntlet of an adoring public wanting autographs by the hundred.’
- ‘This, it emerges, is reached by running the gauntlet alongside the entrance for the police vans and what look like the service entries for the dustbins and the meter readers.’
- ‘She said: ‘It is the first time in years we have been able to ride in safety without running the gauntlet of boy racers and we are not going to let that be threatened.’’
- ‘A calcium ion has to run the gauntlet of many, many molecules before it reaches a binding site.’
- ‘Today, again, she had to run the gauntlet of camera crews, and the fact that her lawyers have attempted to raise more interest in local media about this case has brought more local cameras here.’
- ‘What was once a very enjoyable walk ‘around the block’ has become a case of running the gauntlet for those who still walk this particular route.’
- ‘Even with the new road layout you are still running the gauntlet of traffic travelling fast up and down that road.’
2historical Undergo the military punishment of receiving blows while running between two rows of men with sticks.
Mid 17th century: alteration of gantlope (from Swedish gatlopp, from gata ‘lane’ + lopp ‘course’) by association with gauntlet.
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