earn one's stripes
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Gain a position through hard work and accumulated experience. For example, She'd earned her stripes by serving for years as the governor's secretary and personal aide. This expression alludes to a military promotion or award, indicated by strips of chevron or braid added to the recipient's uniform and known as stripes since the early 1800s.
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Words nearby earn one's stripes
earnestness, earnings, earnings per share, Earnings Related Supplement, earn one's keep, earn one's stripes, EAROM, Earp, earphone, earpiece, ear-piercing
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.