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 for To enter the lists
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  List \List\ (l[i^]st), n. [F. lice, LL. liciae, pl., from L.
     licium thread, girdle.]
     A line inclosing or forming the extremity of a piece of
     ground, or field of combat; hence, in the plural (lists), the
     ground or field inclosed for a race or combat. --Chaucer.
     [1913 Webster]
           In measured lists to toss the weighty lance. --Pope.
     [1913 Webster]
     To enter the lists, to accept a challenge, or engage in
        [1913 Webster]

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