Definition of gauntlet noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    gauntlet

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ˈɡɔːntlət//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡɔːntlət//
     
     
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  1. 1a metal glove worn as part of a suit of armour by soldiers in the Middle Ages
  2. 2a strong glove with a wide covering for the wrist, used for example when driving motorcyclists with leather gauntlets
  3. Word Origin senses 1 to 2 and take up/​throw down the gauntlet. late Middle English: from Old French gantelet, diminutive of gant ‘glove’, of Germanic origin. run the gauntlet. mid 17th cent.: alteration of gantlope (from Swedish gatlopp, from gata ‘lane’ + lopp ‘course’) by association with gauntlet ‘glove’.Idioms to be criticized or attacked by a lot of people, especially a group of people that you have to walk through Some of the witnesses had to run the gauntlet of television cameras and reporters. This phrase refers to an old army punishment where a man was forced to run between two lines of soldiers hitting him. to accept somebody’s invitation to fight or compete His Republican rival may be expected to take up the gauntlet. In the Middle Ages 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.
    throw down the gauntlet
     
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    to invite somebody to fight or compete with you She has thrown down the gauntlet to the newspaper by accusing it of libel.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: gauntlet