gauntlet

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pick up the gauntlet

To accept or attempt a challenge or invitation, as to fight, argue, or compete. When it comes to civil rights issues, Mary is always eager to pick up the gauntlet. When the heavyweight champion boasted that nobody could beat him, no one expected this newcomer to pick up the gauntlet.
See also: gauntlet, pick, up

take up the gauntlet

To accept or attempt a challenge or invitation, as to fight, argue, or compete. When it comes to civil rights issues, Mary is always eager to take up the gauntlet. When the heavyweight champion boasted that nobody could beat him, no one expected this newcomer to take up the gauntlet.
See also: gauntlet, take, up

run the gauntlet

 
1. Lit. to race, as a punishment, between parallel lines of men who thrash one as one runs. The knight was forced to doff his clothes and run the gauntlet.
2. and run the gauntlet of something Fig. to endure a series of problems, threats, or criticism. After the play, the director found himself running the gauntlet of questions and doubts about his ability.
See also: gauntlet, run

throw down the gauntlet

Fig. to challenge someone to an argument or to (figurative) combat. When Bob chal— lenged my conclusions, he threw down the gauntlet. I was ready for an argument. Frowning at Bob is the same as throwing down the gauntlet. He loves to get into a fight about something.
See also: down, gauntlet, throw

run the gauntlet

Be exposed to danger, criticism, or other adversity, as in After he was misquoted in the interview, he knew he would have to run the gauntlet of his colleagues' anger . This term, dating from the first half of the 1600s, comes from the word gantlope, which itself comes from the Swedish word gatlopp, for "lane-course." It referred to a form of military punishment where a man ran between two rows of soldiers who struck him with sticks or knotted ropes. Almost as soon as gantlope appeared, it was replaced by gauntlet. The word was being used figuratively for other kinds of punishment by 1661, when Joseph Glanvill wrote, "To print, is to run the gantlet, and to expose oneself to the tongues strapado" ( The Vanity of Dogmatizing, or Confidence in Opinion).
See also: gauntlet, run

throw down the gauntlet

Declare or issue a challenge, as in The senator threw down the gauntlet on the abortion issue. This expression alludes to the medieval practice of a knight throwing down his gauntlet, or metal glove, as a challenge to combat. Its figurative use dates from the second half of the 1700s, as does the less frequently heard take up the gauntlet, for accepting a challenge.
See also: down, gauntlet, throw

pick up the gauntlet

or

take up the gauntlet

If you pick up the gauntlet or take up the gauntlet, you accept a challenge. Note: Gauntlets are long thick gloves which protect your hands, wrists, and forearms. Carlton, a key member of the team, was happy to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by his rival.
See also: gauntlet, pick, up

run the gauntlet of something/someone

COMMON If you run the gauntlet of a difficult situation, especially one in which many people insult, question or attack you, you experience it. Note: Gauntlets are long thick gloves which protect your hands, wrists, and forearms. He had to run the gauntlet of photographers and journalists outside the High Court. They ran the gauntlet of angry demonstrators. She left the court but not before she had run the gauntlet of threats and abuse. Note: `Gatlopp' is a Swedish word meaning `lane run'. The `gatlopp' was a Swedish military punishment that came into common use in England during the Thirty Years' War (1618-48). The victim had to run between two rows of soldiers who would whip or beat them. In England, the unfamiliar Swedish word `gatlopp' was replaced by the more familiar English word `gauntlet'.
See also: gauntlet, of, run, something

throw down the gauntlet

COMMON If you throw down the gauntlet, you do or say something that challenges someone to take action or to compete against you. Note: Gauntlets are long thick gloves which protect your hands, wrists, and forearms. The largest teaching union yesterday threw down the gauntlet to the Government, threatening strikes if their demands are not met. Note: The verbs lay down and fling down are sometimes used instead of throw down. He has laid down the gauntlet and presented us with two options which appear to be non-negotiable. Note: In medieval times, a knight would throw one of his gauntlets (= long gloves) to the ground as a challenge to another knight to fight. If the second knight picked it up, he accepted the challenge.
See also: down, gauntlet, throw

throw down the gauntlet

Issue a challenge. In the Middle Ages a gauntlet was the glove in a suit of armor. Throwing down his gauntlet was a knight's way to challenge an opponent to combat.
See also: down, gauntlet, throw