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[lists] /lɪsts/
noun, (used with a singular or plural verb)
an enclosed arena for a tilting contest.
the barriers enclosing this arena.
any place or scene of combat, competition, controversy, etc.
enter the lists, to involve oneself in a conflict or contest:
to enter the lists against the protective tariff.
Origin of lists
1350-1400; Middle English listes, plural of liste list2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for enter the lists


plural noun
  1. the enclosed field of combat at a tournament
  2. the barriers enclosing the field at a tournament
any arena or scene of conflict, controversy, etc
enter the lists, to engage in a conflict, controversy, etc
Word Origin
C14: plural of list² (border, boundary)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with enter the lists

enter the lists

Also,enter the fray. Engage in a fight or competition, as in He said he'd be willing to enter the lists well before the primaries, or Whenever people disagreed, she was eager to enter the fray. The first term uses the noun lists in the sense of “a barrier around the arena enclosing medieval jousting tournaments” and was being used figuratively by the late 1500s. The variant uses fray in the sense of “a noisy skirmish or battle,” a usage from the late 1300s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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