mettle

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be on (one's) mettle

To be determined to succeed and thus prove one's worth, often in a difficult or unpleasant situation. I know my employees think I'm too young to be their supervisor, so I have to be on my mettle every day at the office.
See also: mettle, on

prove (one's) mettle

To prove that one has endurance and strength of character, or the necessary skills, abilities, or traits to succeed in something. You may be the youngest lawyer in the firm, but you certainly proved your mettle in that high-profile murder case. The new CEO proved her mettle when she joined the company in 2012 and completely restructured their dying mobile phone division into the powerhouse it is today.
See also: mettle, prove

show (one's) mettle

To show that one has endurance and strength of character, or the necessary skills, abilities, or traits to succeed in something. You may be the youngest lawyer in the firm, but you certainly showed your mettle in that high-profile murder case. The new CEO showed her mettle when she joined the company in 2012 and completely restructured their dying mobile phone division into the powerhouse it is today.
See also: mettle, show

be on your mettle

be ready or forced to prove your ability to cope well with a demanding situation.
See also: mettle, on

put someone on their mettle

(of a demanding situation) test someone's ability to face difficulties in a spirited and resilient way.
Originally the same word as metal , mettle was no more than a variant spelling that gradually became particularly associated with figurative uses of the word, meaning ‘quality of temperament’, and from that ‘natural spirit’ or ‘courage’. These senses eventually developed so far from the literal senses that it was no longer apparent that they were originally the same word. The distinctive spellings metal and mettle to distinguish the two were in use by the early 18th century, though not necessarily universally applied until the following century.
See also: mettle, on, put

be on, show, prove, etc. your ˈmettle

be prepared to do the best work you can or perform as well as you can in a particular situation: When the boss comes round, I want you all to show your mettle.He’ll have to be on his mettle if he wants to win the next race.
Mettle is the ability and determination to do something successfully in spite of difficult conditions.
See also: mettle

put somebody on their ˈmettle

make somebody do the best work they can, or perform as well as they can: The school inspection is going to put the teachers on their mettle.
See also: mettle, on, put, somebody

on (one's) mettle

Prepared to accept a challenge and do one's best.
See also: mettle, on