noun (1)
gaunt·​let | \ ˈgȯnt-lət How to pronounce gauntlet (audio) , ˈgänt- \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of gauntlet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a glove worn with medieval armor to protect the hand
2 : any of various protective gloves used especially in industry
3 : an open challenge (as to combat) used in phrases like throw down the gauntlet
4 : a dress glove extending above the wrist


noun (2)
variants: or less commonly gantlet

Definition of gauntlet (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a double file of men facing each other and armed with clubs or other weapons with which to strike at an individual who is made to run between them used with run
b : a line, series, or assemblage especially : one that poses some sort of ordeal a gauntlet of autograph-seekers
2 : a severe trial : ordeal ran the gauntlet of criticism and censure

Other Words from gauntlet

Noun (1)

gauntleted \ ˈgȯnt-​lə-​təd How to pronounce gauntleted (audio) , ˈgänt-​ \ adjective

First Known Use of gauntlet

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gauntlet

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Middle French gantelet, diminutive of gant glove, from Old French, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch want glove, Old Norse vǫttr

Noun (2)

altered from gantelope, apparently by assimilation to gauntlet entry 1

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Time Traveler for gauntlet

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The first known use of gauntlet was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Gauntlet.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for gauntlet


gaunt·​let | \ ˈgȯnt-lət \

Kids Definition of gauntlet

1 : a glove made of small metal plates and worn with a suit of armor
2 : a glove with a wide cuff that protects the wrist and part of the arm

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