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

1. to experience severe criticism or great difficulties Every idea that is presented must run the gauntlet of the Review Committee, and such reviews are never pleasant.
2. to have to move by a line or group people trying to get your attention Before you get to the beach, you have run the gauntlet of shouting souvenir sellers and dirty snack bars.
Usage notes: sometimes spelled gantlet
Etymology: based on the old-fashioned military meaning of run the gauntlet (to punish a soldier by forcing him to run between two lines of men who hit him as he goes by them)
See also: gauntlet, run

run the gauntlet

to have to deal with a lot of people who are criticizing or attacking you (usually + of ) The minister had to run the gauntlet of anti-nuclear protesters when he arrived at the plant.
See also: gauntlet, run

throw down the gauntlet

to invite someone to argue, fight, or compete with you A price war could break out in the High Street after a leading supermarket threw down the gauntlet to its competitors.
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

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