To enter the lists


Also found in: Idioms.
to accept a challenge, or engage in contest.

See also: List

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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The northern access to the lists terminated in a similar entrance of thirty feet in breadth, at the extremity of which was a large enclosed space for such knights as might be disposed to enter the lists with the challengers, behind which were placed tents containing refreshments of every kind for their accommodation, with armourers, tarriers, and other attendants, in readiness to give their services wherever they might be necessary.
While Sir Dinadan was waiting for his turn to enter the lists, he came in there and sat down and began to talk; for he was always making up to me, because I was a stranger and he liked to have a fresh market for his jokes, the most of them having reached that stage of wear where the teller has to do the laughing himself while the other person looks sick.
"He's an awful brute, isn't he?" continued the young enquirer, a candid Thorley, who was evidently preparing to enter the lists as the lady's champion.