throw down the gauntlet


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throw down the gauntlet

To issue a challenge or invitation, as to a fight, argument, or competition. When the heavyweight champion boasted that nobody could beat him, no one expected this newcomer to throw down the gauntlet. Someone finally threw down the gauntlet to the boss regarding the oppressive working conditions in the office. We'll never make any progress on this issue if we don't have members of congress willing to throw down the gauntlet.
See also: down, gauntlet, throw
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

throw down (or take up) the gauntlet

issue (or accept) a challenge.
In medieval times, a person issued a challenge by throwing their gauntlet (i.e. glove) to the ground; whoever picked it up was deemed to have accepted the challenge.
See also: down, gauntlet, throw
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

throw down the ˈgauntlet

invite somebody to compete with you; challenge somebody: They have thrown down the gauntlet to the Prime Minister by demanding a referendum. OPPOSITE: hold out/offer an olive branch (to somebody)A gauntlet is a kind of glove. In medieval times a knight threw his gauntlet at the feet of another knight as a challenge to fight. If he accepted the challenge, the other knight would pick up the glove.
See also: down, gauntlet, throw
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

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
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Australian followed his first-round 65 with a seven-under-par 63 to throw down the gauntlet to his nearest challengers.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE posted a blistering 65 to throw down the gauntlet to local hero Ernie Els ahead of today's final round of the Sun City Challenge.
TEETON MILL can throw down the gauntlet to Ireland's brilliant Gold Cup hope Florida Pearl by taking Saturday's Mitsubishi Shogun Chase at Ascot.
"People are waiting for someone who is willing to throw down the gauntlet and say, We've got to take on the powers that be on behalf of the powers that ought to be.' Do I think Paul Wellstone can do that?
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