throw down the gauntlet

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From the late medieval custom symbolizing a challenge, in French tendre son gantelet. The English phrase dates to the 1540s (figurative use by the 18th century).


throw down the gauntlet

  1. To issue a challenge.
    • 1730, Caleb d' Anvers (Nicholas Amhurst), The Craftsman[1], volume 7, page 91:
      We might as well dispute with Dimock on a Coronation Day, as argue with these Writers. They strut, vapour, throw down the Gauntlet, and defy us to take it up.

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