noun met·tle \ˈme-təl\

: strength of spirit : ability to continue despite difficulties

Full Definition of METTLE

a :  vigor and strength of spirit or temperament
b :  staying quality :  stamina <equipment that proved its mettle>
:  quality of temperament or disposition <gentlemen of brave mettle — Shakespeare>
met·tled \-təld\ adjective
on one's mettle
:  aroused to do one's best

Examples of METTLE

  1. The competition will test her mettle.

Origin of METTLE

alteration of metal
First Known Use: 1581

Synonym Discussion of METTLE

courage, mettle, spirit, resolution, tenacity mean mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship. courage implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty <the courage to support unpopular causes>. mettle suggests an ingrained capacity for meeting strain or difficulty with fortitude and resilience <a challenge that will test your mettle>. spirit also suggests a quality of temperament enabling one to hold one's own or keep up one's morale when opposed or threatened <her spirit was unbroken by failure>. resolution stresses firm determination to achieve one's ends <the resolution of pioneer women>. tenacity adds to resolution implications of stubborn persistence and unwillingness to admit defeat <held to their beliefs with great tenacity>.

Rhymes with METTLE

ON ONE'S METTLE Defined for Kids


noun met·tle \ˈme-təl\

Definition of METTLE for Kids

:  strength of spirit :  courage <The competition will test her mettle.>


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