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gauntlet1

[gawnt-lit, gahnt-] /ˈgɔnt lɪt, ˈgɑnt-/
noun
1.
a medieval glove, as of mail or plate, worn by a knight in armor to protect the hand.
2.
a glove with an extended cuff for the wrist.
3.
the cuff itself.
Idioms
4.
take up the gauntlet,
  1. to accept a challenge to fight:
    He was always willing to take up the gauntlet for a good cause.
  2. to show one's defiance.
Also, take up the glove.
5.
throw down the gauntlet,
  1. to challenge.
  2. to defy.
Also, throw down the glove.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English gantelet < Middle French, diminutive of gant glove < Germanic *want-; compare Old Norse vǫttr
Related forms
gauntleted, adjective
ungauntleted, adjective
Can be confused
gambit, gamut, gantlet, gauntlet.

gauntlet2

[gawnt-lit, gahnt-] /ˈgɔnt lɪt, ˈgɑnt-/
noun, Also, gantlet (def .)(for defs 1, 2, 4).
1.
a former punishment, chiefly military, in which the offender was made to run between two rows of men who struck at him with switches or weapons as he passed.
2.
the two rows of men administering this punishment.
3.
an attack from two or all sides.
4.
trying conditions; an ordeal.
5.
gantlet1 (def 1).
verb (used with object)
6.
gantlet1 (def 3).
Idioms
7.
run the gauntlet, to suffer severe criticism or tribulation.
Origin
1670-80; alteration of gantlope
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gauntlets
  • Although duels and gauntlets have largely disappeared into history, modern life seems to consist of little else but challenges.
  • These big square buttons are designed to be pressed by hands encased in chemical-warfare gauntlets.
  • It is a delicate question, not to be handled with gauntlets.
  • gauntlets were usually reserved for special occasions, such as parades, rodeos and pow wows.
  • His cloak was full-sleeved, and the arms ended in gauntlets.
  • The use of insulated gloves with gauntlets, coveralls, and face protection may be warranted.
  • These injuries could be avoided by using leather chaps on lower legs and leather gloves with gauntlets for the hands.
  • Extra-long gauntlets or sleeves attached to the gloves can extend protection up the arm.
  • Muffling up his head and placing a wire screen over big face, and buckskin gauntlets on his hands, at it he went.
British Dictionary definitions for gauntlets

gauntlet1

/ˈɡɔːntlɪt/
noun
1.
a medieval armoured leather glove
2.
a heavy glove with a long cuff
3.
take up the gauntlet, to accept a challenge
4.
throw down the gauntlet, to offer a challenge
Word Origin
C15: from Old French gantelet, diminutive of gant glove, of Germanic origin

gauntlet2

/ˈɡɔːntlɪt/
noun
1.
a punishment in which the victim is forced to run between two rows of men who strike at him as he passes: formerly a military punishment
2.
run the gauntlet
  1. to suffer this punishment
  2. to endure an onslaught or ordeal, as of criticism
3.
a testing ordeal; trial
4.
a variant spelling of gantlet1 (sense 1)
Word Origin
C15: changed (through influence of gauntlet1) from earlier gantlope; see gantlet1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gauntlets

gauntlet

n.

"glove," early 15c., gantelet, from Old French gantelet (13c.) "gauntlet worn by a knight in armor," also a token of one's personality or person, and symbolizing a challenge, e.g. tendre son gantelet "throw down the gauntlet" (a sense found in English by 1540s); semi-diminutive or double-diminutive of gant "glove" (12c.), earlier wantos (7c.), from Frankish *wanth-, from Proto-Germanic *wantuz "glove" (cf. Middle Dutch want "mitten," East Frisian want, wante, Old Norse vöttr "glove," Danish vante "mitten"), which apparently is related to Old High German wintan, Old English windan "turn around, wind" (see wind (v.)).

The name must orig. have applied to a strip of cloth wrapped about the hand to protect it from sword-blows, a frequent practice in the Icelandic sagas. [Buck]
Italian guanto, Spanish guante are likewise ultimately from Germanic. The spelling with -u- was established from 1500s.

military punishment in which offender runs between rows of men who beat him in passing, 1660s, earlier gantlope (1640s), from Swedish gatlopp "passageway," from Old Swedish gata "lane" (see gate) + lopp "course," related to löpa "to run" (see leap). Probably borrowed by English soldiers during Thirty Years' War. Modern spelling, influenced by gauntlet (n.1), not fixed until mid-19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with gauntlets
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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