mettle

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Originally a variant of metal.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

mettle (uncountable)

  1. A quality of endurance and courage.
    • 360 BCE, Plato, The Republic, Book VIII.
      In the succeeding generation rulers will be appointed who have lost the guardian power of testing the metal of your different races, which, like Hesiod's, are of gold and silver and brass and iron.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, The Life of Henry the Fifth, act iv, scene 8 (First Folio ed.)
      By this Day and this Light, the fellow ha's mettell enough in his belly.
    • 2001, Harry J. Alexandrowicz, Testing your Mettle: Tough Problems and Real-world Solutions for Middle and High School Teachers, page xiii
      Please read on and discover the issues in education that test the mettle of those who experience this world every day.
  2. Good temperament and character.
    • 1868, Charles Dickens, Bleak House
      The arrival of this unexpected heir soon taking wind in the court, still makes good for the Sol, and keeps the court upon its mettle.
  3. (obsolete) Metal; a metallic substance.
    • 1837, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, page 78
      They have neither gold nor silver of their own, wine nor oyl, or scarce any corn growing in those United Provinces, little or no wood, tin, lead, iron, silk, wooll, any stuff almost, or mettle; and yet Hungary, Transilvania, that brag of their mines, fertile England, cannot compare with them.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.