throw down the gauntlet


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throw down the gauntlet

To issue a challenge to someone; from the medieval practice of knights throwing down a metal gauntlet as a sign that they wished to do single combat.
References in classic literature ?
Micawber has to do, is to throw down the gauntlet to society, and say, in effect, "Show me who will take that up.
During a meeting of the College of Commissioners, on 25 April, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said his institution is ready to throw down the gauntlet to all member states that call for cuts in the EU's long-term budget.
I therefore throw down the gauntlet for a campaign for much tougher sentences, with a return of hard labour for crimes against the vulnerable.