Gauntlet (glove)

Gauntlet (glove)

Gauntlet is a name for several different styles of glove, particularly those with an extended cuff covering part of the forearm. Gauntlets exist in many forms, ranging from flexible fabric and leather gloves, to chainmail and fully-articulated plate armour.

Types of gauntlet


Historically, gauntlets were an important piece of armour, since the hands and arms were particularly vulnerable in hand-to-hand combat. With the rise of easily-reloadable firearms, hand-to-hand combat became less common and so gauntlets lost most of their strategic value.

port, industry and science

Today, gauntlets are mostly used in contact sports, such as fencing. Protective gauntlets are also sometimes worn when defusing a bomb and by butchers. Furthermore, they are an integral part of pressure suits and spacesuits, usually made of kevlar or other materials that combine toughness, environmental protection and flexibility. Gauntlets are also provided on some motorcyclist's leather gloves and on snowmobile driver's nylon mittens.

Drum Corps & Marching Band

Marching band and drum corp uniforms often include an item called a "gauntlet" which includes no glove for the hand, but is just a flared cuff. Some versions are closer to bracers or vambraces in style.


In the clothing industry gauntlet can refer to a fashion accessory which is just an extended cuff with little or no hand covering. []


"For the main article see Episcopal gloves."
In the Roman Catholic Church the gloves traditionally worn by the Pope or other bishops are also known as gauntlets [] , or Episcopal gloves, though their use had largely been relaxed since Paul VI.


"Throw down the gauntlet"

To "throw down the gauntlet" is to issue a challenge. A gauntlet-wearing knight would challenge a fellow knight or enemy to a duel by throwing one of his gauntlets on the ground. The opponent would pick up the gauntlet to accept the challenge.

"Run the gauntlet"

"Running the gauntlet" was a military punishment where a soldier or sailor had to pass between a double row of comrades armed with cudgels. The expression is now generally used metaphorically. "Gauntlet" in this context is unrelated to the "protective glove" meaning, but is instead derived from the Swedish "gatlopp" ("street run") [] .

Notes and references

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • gauntlet glove — noun see gauntlet I, 3a …   Useful english dictionary

  • Gauntlet — or gantlet may mean:* Gauntlet (glove), protective gloves used as a form of armour * Gauntlet (marking), the white markings on one or more of the legs of an animal such as a cat or rabbit, making them look like they have a long white glove on *… …   Wikipedia

  • gauntlet — The gauntlet of ‘run the gauntlet’ has no etymological connection with gauntlet ‘glove’ [15]. The latter was borrowed from Old French gantelet, a diminutive form of gant ‘glove’. This was originally a Germanic loanword, with surviving relatives… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • gauntlet — The gauntlet of ‘run the gauntlet’ has no etymological connection with gauntlet ‘glove’ [15]. The latter was borrowed from Old French gantelet, a diminutive form of gant ‘glove’. This was originally a Germanic loanword, with surviving relatives… …   Word origins

  • Gauntlet — Gaunt let, n. [F. gantelet, dim. of gant glove, LL. wantus, of Teutonic origin; cf. D. want, Sw. & Dan. vante, Icel. v[ o]ttr, for vantr.] 1. A glove of such material that it defends the hand from wounds. [1913 Webster] Note: The gauntlet of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gauntlet — Ⅰ. gauntlet [1] ► NOUN 1) a stout glove with a long loose wrist. 2) a glove worn as part of medieval armour, made of leather with protective steel plates. ● take up (or throw down) the gauntlet Cf. ↑throw down the gauntlet …   English terms dictionary

  • gauntlet — gauntlet1 [gônt′lit, gänt′lit] n. [ME < OFr gantelet, dim. of gant, a glove < Frank * want, a mitten, akin to EFris wante] 1. a medieval glove, usually of leather covered with metal plates, worn by knights in armor to protect the hand in… …   English World dictionary

  • gauntlet — There are two distinct words here: (1) ‘a stout glove’ used in the expression throw down the gauntlet (= accept a challenge), from an Old French diminutive of gant meaning ‘glove’, and (2) used in the phrase run the gauntlet (= undergo a… …   Modern English usage

  • Gauntlet track — or interlaced track (also gantlet track) is where railway tracks converge onto a single roadbed and are interlaced to pass through a narrow passage such as a cutting, bridge, or tunnel. A frog at each end allows the two tracks to overlap, and the …   Wikipedia

  • glove-shield — gloveˈ shield noun (historical) A shield worn by a knight on the left hand gauntlet to parry blows • • • Main Entry: ↑glove …   Useful english dictionary

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