enter the lists

enter the lists

Fig. to begin to take part in a contest or argument. He had decided not to stand for Parliament, but entered the lists at the last minute. The family disagreement had almost been resolved when the grandfather entered the lists.
See also: enter, list

enter the lists

Also, enter the fray. Engage in a fight or competition, as in He said he'd be willing to enter the lists well before the primaries, or Whenever people disagreed, she was eager to enter the fray. The first term uses the noun lists in the sense of "a barrier around the arena enclosing medieval jousting tournaments" and was being used figuratively by the late 1500s. The variant uses fray in the sense of "a noisy skirmish or battle," a usage from the late 1300s.
See also: enter, list
References in classic literature ?
The northern access to the lists terminated in a similar entrance of thirty feet in breadth, at the extremity of which was a large enclosed space for such knights as might be disposed to enter the lists with the challengers, behind which were placed tents containing refreshments of every kind for their accommodation, with armourers, tarriers, and other attendants, in readiness to give their services wherever they might be necessary.
While Sir Dinadan was waiting for his turn to enter the lists, he came in there and sat down and began to talk; for he was always making up to me, because I was a stranger and he liked to have a fresh market for his jokes, the most of them having reached that stage of wear where the teller has to do the laughing himself while the other person looks sick.
continued the young enquirer, a candid Thorley, who was evidently preparing to enter the lists as the lady's champion.
But so keen had been the previous shooting, that many yeomen who had come to enter the lists now would not do so; and only a dozen men stepped forth to give in their names.
Just then the deep roar of a lion sounded from the distant jungle, as though to challenge whoever dared enter the lists with him.
O that we were wise to lay up treasure for the time of need, for it is truly a solemn affair to enter the lists with the king of terrors.
The very last man on this earth with whom I would enter the lists to combat with gentle compliments and masked faces, is Mr Chester, I do assure you.
But her own champion was now preparing to enter the lists.
He tacked a score of feet from the wharf, waved his hand theatrically, like a knight about to enter the lists, received a hearty cheer in return, and stood away into the Straits for a couple of hundred yards.
If she did not favor a correspondent, she could enter the lists with her rightful mate and do her part toward discouraging his advances, a part, too, which would prove no mean assistance to her lord and master, for Teeka, even though her fangs were smaller than a male's, could use them to excellent effect.
Brom, who had a degree of rough chivalry in his nature, would fain have carried matters to open warfare and have settled their pretensions to the lady, according to the mode of those most concise and simple reasoners, the knights-errant of yore, -- by single combat; but lchabod was too conscious of the superior might of his adversary to enter the lists against him; he had overheard a boast of Bones, that he would "double the schoolmaster up, and lay him on a shelf of his own schoolhouse;" and he was too wary to give him an opportunity.
The defenders of religion can enter the lists against impiety without disadvantage at the present moment, for there is a great deal of talent in the royalist press.
JOE Calzaghe is still waiting to discover the identity of the knight who will enter the lists against him at Cardiff Castle on August 17, with new names moving in and out of the frame on a daily basis.
That so many male members of the non-noble elite found it socially and politically indispensable to be thought capable of "giving satisfaction" strengthens McAleer's argument; satisfaktionsfahig was not simply a warrant of social entitlement, but an acknowledgement that its bearer possessed a quality of masculinity made up of the courage of knights, the loyalty of liegemen, and the temerity of husbands sufficiently gallant to enter the lists in protection of their womenfolk.