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1 definition found
 for To throw down the gauntlet
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Gauntlet \Gaunt"let\, n. [F. gantelet, dim. of gant glove, LL.
     wantus, of Teutonic origin; cf. D. want, Sw. & Dan. vante,
     Icel. v["o]ttr, for vantr.]
     1. A glove of such material that it defends the hand from
        wounds.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: The gauntlet of the Middle Ages was sometimes of chain
           mail, sometimes of leather partly covered with plates,
           scales, etc., of metal sewed to it, and, in the 14th
           century, became a glove of small steel plates,
           carefully articulated and covering the whole hand
           except the palm and the inside of the fingers.
           [1913 Webster]
  
     2. A long glove, covering the wrist.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. (Naut.) A rope on which hammocks or clothes are hung for
        drying.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     To take up the gauntlet, to accept a challenge.
  
     To throw down the gauntlet, to offer or send a challenge.
        The gauntlet or glove was thrown down by the knight
        challenging, and was taken up by the one who accepted the
        challenge; -- hence the phrases.
        [1913 Webster]

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