Gaunt"let(?), n. [F. gantelet, dim. of gant glove, LL. wantus, of Teutonic origin; cf. D. want, Sw. & Dan. vante, Icel. vttr, for vantr.] 1. A glove of such material that it defends the hand from wounds.
The gauntlet of the Middle Ages was sometimes of chain mail, sometimes of leather partly covered with plates, scales, etc., of metal sewed to it, and, in the 14th century, became a glove of small steel plates, carefully articulated and covering the whole hand except the palm and the inside of the fingers.
2. A long glove, covering the wrist.
(Naut.) A rope on which hammocks or clothes are hung for drying.
To take up the gauntlet, to accept a challenge. --
To throw down the gauntlet, to offer or send a challenge. The gauntlet or glove was thrown down by the knight challenging, and was taken up by the one who accepted the challenge; -- hence the phrases.
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Tue 16th July 2019