To put one one's mettle
Mettle Met"tle, n. [E. metal, used in a tropical sense in allusion to the temper of the metal of a sword blade. See {Metal}.] Substance or quality of temperament; spirit, esp. as regards honor, courage, fortitude, ardor, etc.; disposition; -- usually in a good sense; as, to test a person's mettle. [1913 Webster]

A certain critical hour which shall . . . try what mettle his heart is made of. --South. [1913 Webster]

Gentlemen of brave mettle. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The winged courser, like a generous horse, Shows most true mettle when you check his course. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

{To put one one's mettle}, to cause or incite one to use one's best efforts. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • on one's mettle — phrasal also upon one s mettle : in a state of being challenged or aroused to make one s best efforts the family business failed and put him on his mettle as a writer Van Wyck Brooks putting both major parties on their mettle John Lodge …   Useful english dictionary

  • Mettle — Met tle, n. [E. metal, used in a tropical sense in allusion to the temper of the metal of a sword blade. See {Metal}.] Substance or quality of temperament; spirit, esp. as regards honor, courage, fortitude, ardor, etc.; disposition; usually in a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mettle — /ˈmɛtl / (say metl) noun 1. the characteristic disposition or temper: to try a person s mettle. 2. spirit; courage. –phrase 3. on one s mettle, incited to do one s best: *This put the old man on his mettle. –mary durack, 1959. {variant of metal} …   Australian English dictionary

  • mettle — n. 1) to prove, show one s mettle 2) to put smb. on one s mettle * * * [metl] show one smettle to prove to put smb. on one s mettle mezzanine n (AE) [ first rows of a balcony in a theater ] in the mettle …   Combinatory dictionary

  • mettle — /met l/, n. 1. courage and fortitude: a man of mettle. 2. disposition or temperament: a man of fine mettle. 3. on one s mettle, in the position of being incited to do one s best The loss of the first round put him on his mettle to win the match.… …   Universalium

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