run the gauntlet, to

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run the gauntlet

To be exposed to or forced to endure a series of threats, dangers, criticism, or other problems. Refers to an old military punishment in which one was forced to run between two lines of soldiers while being thrashed with rods or whips. Medical students often feel that they have to run the gauntlet when they become residents in a hospital. The director has been running the gauntlet of fans' outrage following the release of his latest film.
See also: gauntlet, run
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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

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
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.

run the gauntlet

go through an intimidating or dangerous crowd, place, or experience in order to reach a goal.
This phrase alludes to the former military practice of punishing a wrongdoer by forcing him to run between two lines of men armed with sticks, who beat him as he passed. Gauntlet here has nothing to do with a glove, but is a version of an earlier word gantlope , itself taken from Swedish gatloppe , which meant ‘lane course’.
See also: gauntlet, run
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

run the ˈgauntlet

be attacked or criticized by many people at the same time: The Prime Minister’s car had to run the gauntlet of a large group of protesters outside the conference hall.This phrase refers to an old army punishment where a man was forced to run between two lines of soldiers hitting him.
See also: gauntlet, run
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

run the gauntlet, to

To be exposed to a course of danger, trying conditions, or criticism. The term originated in the seventeenth century, when the Germans adopted this military punishment from the Swedes. It consisted of stripping a man to the waist and making him run between two rows of soldiers, who struck him with sticks or knotted cords. The passage he ran was gatloppe in Swedish and gantloppe or gantlope in German. It was adopted as a civilian punishment in the American colonies and was spelled gantlet or gauntlet. “They have run the gauntlet of the years,” wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes (The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, 1858).
See also: run
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
By one speaker it was proposed that he be disembowelled, by another that he be made to run the gauntlet. Some favoured hanging, some thought that it would do him good to appear in a suit of tar and feathers.
I observed that the vitals of the village were the grocery, the bar-room, the post-office, and the bank; and, as a necessary part of the machinery, they kept a bell, a big gun, and a fire-engine, at convenient places; and the houses were so arranged as to make the most of mankind, in lanes and fronting one another, so that every traveller had to run the gauntlet, and every man, woman, and child might get a lick at him.
The proud consciousness of her trust, and the great importance she derived from it, might have advertised it to all the house if she had had to run the gauntlet of its inhabitants; but as Dolly had played in every dull room and passage many and many a time, when a child, and had ever since been the humble friend of Miss Haredale, whose foster-sister she was, she was as free of the building as the young lady herself.
It certainly was a slight armament with which to run the gauntlet through countries swarming with hostile hordes, and a slight bark to navigate these endless rivers, tossing and pitching down rapids, running on snags and bumping on sand-bars; such, however, are the cockle-shells with which these hardy rovers of the wilderness will attempt the wildest streams; and it is surprising what rough shocks and thumps these boats will endure, and what vicissitudes they will live through.
To run the gauntlet of their faces in Cornhill is enough to discourage a thoughtful man for hours.
We were sentenced to run the gauntlet. They rubbed grease and motor oil on us and cut our hair to leave tufts here and there.
It is appalling that so many of them have to run the gauntlet of traffickers and the perils of the open seas to get the help they need.
ASTON Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan has urged his team-mates to banish any nerves as they prepare to run the gauntlet at Villa Park.
Villa sub Andreas Weimann also had to run the gauntlet from the fans when he was stretchered off with suspected ankle ligament damage.
Out on the campaign trail he twice had to run the gauntlet of British National Party supporters.
It may encourage others to run the gauntlet of city cycling.
Anybody who's had to run the gauntlet of boozed-up, snarling yobs as they go about their daily business could have told them that.
Mr Stapleton said at the time: 'The Mosquito device is about restoring human rights and civil liberties to people who would like the freedom to shop or sell produce without having to run the gauntlet past gangs of youths with threatening behaviour.'
Not only do they deal with fires, explosions, floods, motorway pile-ups, and chemical and toxic leaks but they have to run the gauntlet of gangs of brain-dead pieces of scum who attack them and their appliances.
We must put pressure on our MPs and Euro MPs and the Minister of Sport to ensure that other fans are not forced to run the gauntlet of hate.