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gaunt•let1(ˈgɔnt lɪt, ˈgɑnt-)
1. a mailed glove worn with a suit of armor to protect the hand.
2. a glove with an extended cuff.
3. the cuff itself.Idioms:
1. take up the gauntlet, to accept a challenge to fight.
2. throw down the gauntlet, to challenge someone to fight.
[1375–1425; late Middle English gantelet < Middle French, diminutive of gant glove < Germanic *want-; compare Old Norse vǫttr]
gaunt•let2(ˈgɔnt lɪt, ˈgɑnt-)
1. a former punishment, chiefly military, in which the offender was made to run between two rows of men who struck at him with switches or weapons as he passed.
2. the two rows of men administering this punishment.
3. an attack from two or all sides.
4. a severe test; ordeal.Idioms:
run the gauntlet, to suffer severe criticism or tribulation.Also, gantlet (for defs. 1, 2, 4).
[1670–80; alter. of gantlope]