take up the gauntlet


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Related to take up the gauntlet: took up the gauntlet

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

take up the ˈgauntlet

accept somebody’s invitation to fight or compete: The country needs enormous help to rebuild its economy, and it’s time to take up the gauntlet and do what we can.
See also: gauntlet, take, up

throw down the gauntlet, to

To issue a challenge. Conversely, to take up the gauntlet means to accept a challenge. These terms date from the time of knighthood, when the gauntlet, a glove of mail or plate used to protect the hand, was part of the standard armor. Throwing it down was a challenge to combat, as chronicled by Edward Hall in the sixteenth century. “I cast them my Gauntlet, take it up who dares,” wrote Thomas Nashe (Pasquil’s Apologie, 1590). By the eighteenth century both terms had been extended to any kind of challenge, as in Theodric by Thomas Campbell (1777–1844): “Her towns, where civic independence flings The gauntlet down to senates, courts, and kings.” See also run the gauntlet.
See also: down, throw
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