Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A protective glove worn with medieval armor.
  • n. A protective glove with a flared cuff, used in manual labor, in certain sports, and for driving.
  • n. A challenge: throw down the gauntlet; take up the gauntlet.
  • n. A dress glove cuffed above the wrist.
  • n. 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.
  • n. The lines of people so arranged.
  • n. An onslaught or attack from all sides: "The hostages . . . ran the gauntlet of insult on their way to the airport” ( Harper's).
  • n. A severe trial; an ordeal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Protective armor for the hands.
  • n. Two parallel rows of attackers who strike at a criminal as punishment
  • n. Simultaneous attack from two or more sides
  • n. Any challenging, difficult, or painful ordeal, often one performed for atonement or punishment
  • n. A temporary convergence of two parallel railroad tracks allowing passage through a narrow opening in each direction without switching.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See gantlet.
  • n. A glove of such material that it defends the hand from wounds.
  • n. A long glove, covering the wrist.
  • n. A rope on which hammocks or clothes are hung for drying.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A glove; specifically, in medieval armor, a glove of defense, either attached to the defensive armor of the arm or separate from it.
  • n. A long stout glove, usually for use in riding or driving. As ordinarily worn, it covers loosely the lower part of the arm.
  • n. In a restricted sense, the wrist-cover or cuff alone of a glove.
  • n. A mitt.
  • n. In surgery, a form of bandage which envelops the hand and fingers like a glove.
  • n. Hence, in general — To challenge; invite opposition with the view of overcoming it.
  • n. Same as gantlet, 1.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. to offer or accept a challenge
  • n. a glove of armored leather; protects the hand
  • n. a form of punishment in which a person is forced to run between two lines of men facing each other and armed with clubs or whips to beat the victim
  • n. a glove with long sleeve

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French gantelet, diminutive of gant, glove, from Frankish *want.
Alteration (influenced by gauntlet1) of gantlope, from Swedish gatlopp : gata, lane (from Old Norse) + lopp, course, running (from Middle Low German lōp).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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") (Wiktionary)
From gantlope, from Swedish gatlopp ("passageway"), from Old Swedish gata ("lane") + lopp ("course"), from löpa ("to run") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Her skill-power comes along when she steals a gauntlet from the villainous Lord Licorice.

    Superhero Nation: how to write superhero novels and comic books » Trollitrade’s Second Review Forum

  • Running the gauntlet is expressed as: Élla tuvo aguantar el acoso de los fotógrafos [She had to run the gauntlet of the photographers].

    Running the Gauntlet

  • I have to tell you, one of the benefit s of running this 22 month gauntlet is that you have been through some ups and you have been through some downs.

    The Full Obama Interview - Swampland - TIME.com

  • The guy who throws down * that* gauntlet is gonna be able to make any movie he wants after that.

    Koen Mortier to Adapt Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted | /Film

  • The gauntlet is fairly flung to all who cry "America for the Americans;" and it may be an additional reason against an attempt to reconstitute the Union that the first step of the new State must in honour be an armed protest against French action, or the swagger of twenty years is even more vain than it was believed to be.

    London; Saturday, January 24, 1863

  • It's interesting to see in the photo above that the hook-and-loop strap on the gauntlet is shorter than it could be, while the strap on the back of the wrist is too long.

    webBikeWorld.com

  • So desperate to convince everyone he’s managed to acquire some wisdom to accompany his vast years, yet so eager to run for the hills every time the intellectual gauntlet is thrown.

    A Clarification For A Pathological Liar « Unambiguously Ambidextrous

  • Running the gauntlet is a form of physical punishment wherein a man is compelled to run between two rows -- a gauntlet -- of soldiers who strike him as he passes.

    Norman Horowitz: Running the Gauntlet

  • In recent weeks, the plane "completed a rigorous series of tests including build verification tests, structures and systems integration tests, landing-gear swings and factory gauntlet, which is the full simulation of the first flight using the actual airplane," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the Dreamliner program, in a statement issued late Sunday.

    Boeing Says First 787 Flight on Track This Quarter

  • Again, as an injury to the left hand may disable the horseman, we would recommend the newly-invented piece of armour called the gauntlet, which protects the shoulder, arm, and elbow, with the hand engaged in holding the reins, being so constructed as to extend and contract; in addition to which it covers the gap left by the corselet under the armpit.

    On Horsemanship

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