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[met-l-suh m] /ˈmɛt l səm/
spirited; courageous.
Origin of mettlesome
First recorded in 1655-65; mettle + -some1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mettlesome
Historical Examples
  • Similarly, she indulged a mettlesome fancy for referring to her hostess as "dear Abigail."

    Nobody Louis Joseph Vance
  • The horse was mettlesome enough to require all her attention.

    Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I. Charles James Lever
  • You study its moods and its ways as those of a mettlesome horse.

    The Book of the National Parks Robert Sterling Yard
  • Quesada selected the most mettlesome and leaped into the deep saddle.

    The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey
  • Her coachman had all he could do to control her mettlesome span of Spanish mares.

    The Unwilling Vestal Edward Lucas White
  • I knew her for a mettlesome filly the first time I ever clapped eyes on her.

    The White Blackbird Hudson Douglas
  • It was one of the most mettlesome and shapely mounts I had ever had the pleasure to view.

    A Volunteer with Pike Robert Ames Bennet
  • A good face--unsophisticated, but intelligent, mettlesome and honest.

    The Grandissimes George Washington Cable
  • He was riding a sweat-covered, mettlesome black with a rolling eye.

    The Killer Stewart Edward White
  • She looked in perfect condition--sleek, mettlesome, strong, and beautiful.

    Tom Tufton's Travels Evelyn Everett-Green
Word Origin and History for mettlesome

1660s, from mettle + -some (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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