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 gauntlet on Wikipedia

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English gauntelett, gantlett, a borrowing 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), a borrowing from Frankish *want (glove; mitten) and reinforced by Medieval Latin wantus (glove) itself borrowed from the former, from Proto-Germanic *wantuz (glove; mitten). Cognate with Dutch want (mitten; shroud), German Low German Want (shroud), Danish vante (mitten), Swedish vante (glove; mitten), Faroese vøttur (glove; mitten).


  • enPR: gônt’lət, IPA(key): /ˈɡɔːnt.lət/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛt



gauntlet (plural gauntlets)

  1. Protective armor for the hands, formerly thrown down as a challenge to combat.
    Coordinate term: manifer
    • 1786, Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, pages 22–23:
      The hands were defended by Gauntlets, these were sometimes of chain mail, but oftener of small plates of iron rivetted together, in imitation of the lobster's tail, so as to yield every motion of the hand, some gauntlets inclosed the whole hand, as in a box or case, others were divided into fingers, each finger consisting of eight or ten separate pieces, the inside gloved with buff leather, some of these reached no higher than the wrist, others to the elbow; the latter were stiled long armed gauntlets: many of them are to be seen in the Tower; for a representation of one of them, see plate 26, fig 6.
  2. A long glove covering the wrist.
    • 1969, Lance William DeStwolinski, Occupational Health in the Construction Industry, page 235:
      Solventproof rubber gauntlets under solventproof sleeves closed at the wrists should be worn.
  3. (nautical) A rope on which hammocks or clothes are hung for drying.
  4. (medicine) An eruption of pellagra on the hands.
Derived terms[edit]

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Etymology 2[edit]

Modified, under the influence of etymology 1, from gantlope, from Swedish gatlopp (passageway), from Old Swedish gata (lane) + lopp (course), from löpa (to run)

Gauntlet track


gauntlet (plural gauntlets)

  1. (archaic) Two parallel rows of attackers who strike at a criminal as punishment.
  2. A simultaneous attack from two or more sides.
  3. (figuratively) Any challenging, difficult, or painful ordeal, often one performed for atonement or punishment.
  4. (rail transport) A temporary convergence of two parallel railroad tracks allowing passage through a narrow opening in each direction without switching.
Derived terms[edit]