Open main menu



 gauntlet on Wikipedia

Alternative formsEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English gauntelett, gantlett, a borrowing from Old French gantelet (gauntlet worn by a knight in armor, a token of one's personality or person, and symbolizing a challenge), diminutive of gant (glove), a borrowing from Frankish *want (glove; mitten) and reinforced by Medieval Latin wantus (glove) itself borrowed from the former, from Proto-Germanic *wantuz (glove; mitten). Cognate with Dutch want (mitten; shroud), German Low German Want (shroud), Danish vante (mitten), Swedish vante (glove; mitten), Faroese vøttur (glove; mitten).




gauntlet (plural gauntlets)

  1. Protective armor for the hands, formerly thrown down as a challenge to combat.
    • 1786, Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 22:
      The hands were defended by Gauntlets, these were sometimes of chain mail, but oftener of small plates of iron rivetted together, in imitation of the lobster's tail, so as to yield every motion of the hand, some gauntlets inclosed the whole hand, as in a box or case, others were divided into fingers, each finger consisting of eight or ten separate pieces, the inside gloved with buff leather, some of these reached no higher than the wrist, others to the elbow; the latter were stiled long armed gauntlets: many of them are to be seen in the Tower; for a representation of one of them, see plate 26, fig 6.
  2. A long glove covering the wrist.
  3. (nautical) A rope on which hammocks or clothes are hung for drying.
Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From gantlope, from Swedish gatlopp (passageway), from Old Swedish gata (lane) + lopp (course), from löpa (to run)


gauntlet (plural gauntlets)

  1. (archaic) Two parallel rows of attackers who strike at a criminal as punishment
  2. Simultaneous attack from two or more sides
  3. (figuratively) Any challenging, difficult, or painful ordeal, often one performed for atonement or punishment
  4. (rail transport) A temporary convergence of two parallel railroad tracks allowing passage through a narrow opening in each direction without switching.
Derived termsEdit