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mettle

[met-l] /ˈmɛt l/
noun
1.
courage and fortitude:
a man of mettle.
2.
disposition or temperament:
a man of fine mettle.
Idioms
3.
on one's mettle, in the position of being incited to do one's best:
The loss of the first round put him on his mettle to win the match.
Origin
1575-1585
1575-85; spelling variant of metal, in metaphoric usages
Can be confused
medal, meddle, metal, mettle.
Synonyms
1. valor, pluck, vigor, ardor, nerve, fiber.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for on ones mettle

mettle

/ˈmɛtəl/
noun
1.
courage; spirit
2.
inherent character
3.
on one's mettle, roused to putting forth one's best efforts
Word Origin
C16: originally variant spelling of metal
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 on ones mettle

mettle

n.

1580s, variant spelling of metal, both forms used interchangeably (by Shakespeare and others) in the literal sense and in the figurative one of "stuff of which a person is made" (1550s) until the spellings and senses diverged early 18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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