The helmet from a suit of armour with a pair of gauntlets.
- An example of gauntlet is a long glove with a flared cuff which is worn for protection.
- An example of gauntlet is a form of punishment when a person is forced to run between two rows of people who are armed with sticks which they use to strike out at the runner.
- a medieval glove, usually of leather covered with metal plates, worn by knights in armor to protect the hand in combat
- a long glove with a flaring cuff covering the lower part of the arm
- the flaring cuff
Origin of gauntletMiddle English from Old French gantelet, diminutive of gant, a glove from Frankish an unverified form want, a mitten, akin to East Frisian wante
take up the gauntlet
- to accept a challenge
- to undertake the defense of a person, etc.
throw down the gauntlet
- A protective glove, usually extending over some of the forearm, worn as part of medieval armor.
- Any of various protective gloves, usually with an extended or flared cuff, as used in certain sports such as fencing and motorcycle riding, in cooking to handle hot objects, and other activities.
- A challenge: throw down the gauntlet; take up the gauntlet.
- A dress glove cuffed above the wrist.
Origin of gauntletMiddle English from Old French gantelet diminutive of gant glove from Frankish want
late 16th-century English
- a. A form of punishment or torture in which people armed with sticks or other weapons arrange themselves in two lines facing each other and beat the person forced to run between them.b. The lines of people so arranged.
- a. An arrangement of two lines of menacing or demanding people or things through which one must pass: moved through a gauntlet of shouting reporters.b. A series of difficult or trying experiences: survived the gauntlet of adolescent humiliations.
Origin of gauntletAlteration (influenced by gauntlet 1) of gantlope from Swedish gatlopp gata lane ( from Old Norse; see ghē- in Indo-European roots.) lopp course, running ( from Middle Low German lōp )Word History: The two words spelled gauntlet may share associations with medieval violence, but they have separate origins. The word gauntlet used in the idiom to throw down the gauntlet comes from the Old French word gantelet, a diminutive of gant, “glove.” (The idiom makes reference to the medieval custom of throwing down a glove in challenging an adversary to combat.) The gauntlet used in to run the gauntlet is an alteration of the earlier English form gantlope, which came from the Swedish word gatlopp, a compound of gata, “lane,” and lopp, “course,” a word related to lope and leap. The Swedish word for this traditional form of punishment, in which two lines of people beat a person forced to run between them, probably became known to English speakers as a result of the Thirty Years' War. Sweden played a leading role in the coalition of Protestant countries that fought against Spain and the Holy Roman Empire, and at the end of the war, in 1648, the Swedish empire emerged as a great power of Europe. It was during this period of expanding Swedish influence that gatlopp entered English. It seems, however, that from the moment English speakers borrowed the word, they inserted an n into the pronunciation of gatlopp —in the earliest known attestation of the word in English, dating from 1646, it is spelled gantelope. The English word was then influenced by the spelling of the other gauntlet, “a protective glove,” eventually leading to the identical spellings used today.
Middle English "glove", also gantelet, from Old French gantelet (“gauntlet worn by a knight in armor, a token of one's personality or person, and symbolizing a challenge”), diminutive of gant (“glove”)
- (archaic) Two parallel rows of attackers who strike at a criminal as punishment
- Simultaneous attack from two or more sides
- (figuratively) Any challenging, difficult, or painful ordeal, often one performed for atonement or punishment
- (rail transport) A temporary convergence of two parallel railroad tracks allowing passage through a narrow opening in each direction without switching.