throw down the glove


1 [gawnt-lit, gahnt-]
a medieval glove, as of mail or plate, worn by a knight in armor to protect the hand.
a glove with an extended cuff for the wrist.
the cuff itself.
take up the gauntlet,
to accept a challenge to fight: He was always willing to take up the gauntlet for a good cause.
to show one's defiance.
Also, take up the glove.
throw down the gauntlet,
to challenge.
to defy.
Also, throw down the glove.

1375–1425; late Middle English gantelet < Middle French, diminutive of gant glove < Germanic *want-; compare Old Norse vǫttr

gauntleted, adjective
ungauntleted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gauntlet or gantlet1 (ˈɡɔːntlɪt)
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
[C15: from Old French gantelet, diminutive of gant glove, of Germanic origin]
gantlet or gantlet1
[C15: from Old French gantelet, diminutive of gant glove, of Germanic origin]

gauntlet2 (ˈɡɔːntlɪt)
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
 a.  to suffer this punishment
 b.  to endure an onslaught or ordeal, as of criticism
3.  a testing ordeal; trial
4.  a variant spelling of gantlet
[C15: changed (through influence of gauntlet1) from earlier gantlope; see gantlet1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"glove," c.1420, from M.Fr. gantelet (13c.), semi-dim. of gant "glove" (12c.), earlier wantos (7c.), from Frank. *want-, from P.Gmc. *wantuz "glove" (cf. M.Du. want "mitten," E.Fris. want, wante, O.N. vöttr "glove," Dan. vante "mitten"), which apparently is related to O.H.G. wintan, O.E. 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]
It. guanto, Sp. guante are likewise ult. from Gmc.

"military punishment," 1661, earlier gantlope (1646), from Sw. gatlopp "passageway," from O.Sw. gata "lane" + lopp "course," related to löpa "to run." Probably borrowed by Eng. soldiers during Thirty Years' War.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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