mettle(redirected from be on mettle)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.
inherent quality of character; fortitude; courage
Not to be confused with:
metal – a hard substance such as gold, silver, or copper
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree
The ability to meet a challenge or persevere under demanding circumstances; determination or resolve: a race that tested the best runners' mettle.
on (one's) mettle
Prepared to accept a challenge and do one's best.
[Variant of metal.]
Word History: Not only do metal and mettle have exactly the same pronunciation, the two terms are—etymologically, at least—exactly the same word. Middle English borrowed metal from Old French in the 1200s; Old French metal, metail, came from Latin metallum, from Greek metallon, "mine, quarry, ore, metal." By the 1500s, English metal had also come to mean "the stuff one is made of, one's character," but there was no difference in spelling between the literal and figurative senses until about 1700, when the spelling mettle, originally just a variant of metal, was fixed for the sense "strength of character." English has numerous examples of similar word pairs that are (historically speaking) spelling variants of the same word, including flour/flower and lightening/lightning.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. courage; spirit
2. inherent character
3. on one's mettle roused to putting forth one's best efforts
[C16: originally variant spelling of metal]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. courage and fortitude.
2. disposition or temperament: of fine mettle.Idioms:
on one's mettle, ready to do one's best.
[1575–85; variant of metal, in metaphoric usages]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||mettle - the courage to carry on; "he kept fighting on pure spunk"; "you haven't got the heart for baseball"|
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
1. courage, spirit, resolution, resolve, life, heart, fire, balls (taboo slang), bottle (Brit. slang), nerve, daring, guts (informal), pluck, grit, bravery, fortitude, vigour, boldness, gallantry, ardour, valour, spunk (informal), indomitability, hardihood, gameness It's the first real test of his mettle this season.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
The quality of mind enabling one to face danger or hardship resolutely:
braveness, bravery, courage, courageousness, dauntlessness, doughtiness, fearlessness, fortitude, gallantry, gameness, heart, intrepidity, intrepidness, nerve, pluck, pluckiness, spirit, stoutheartedness, undauntedness, valiance, valiancy, valiantness, valor.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
mettle[ˈmetl] N → ánimo m, valor m
to be on one's mettle → estar dispuesto a demostrar su valía
to put sb on his mettle → picar a algn en el amor propio or en el orgullo
to show one's mettle → mostrar lo que uno vale
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
mettle[ˈmɛtəl] n → courage m
to be on one's mettle → être prêt(e) à donner le meilleur de soi-même
We have to be on our mettle → Nous devons être prêts à donner le meilleur de nous-mêmes.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
n (= spirit) → Courage f, → Stehvermögen nt; (of horse) → Zähigkeit f; (= temperament) → Feuer nt; a man of mettle → ein Mann von echtem Schrot und Korn; to show one’s mettle → zeigen, was in einem steckt; to test somebody’s mettle, to be a test of somebody’s mettle (thing) → zeigen, was in jdm steckt; (person) → herausfinden, was in jdm steckt; to be on one’s mettle → auf dem Posten sein; to put somebody on his mettle → jdn fordern
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995