lists

[lists]
noun (used with a singular or plural verb)
  1. an enclosed arena for a tilting contest.
  2. the barriers enclosing this arena.
  3. any place or scene of combat, competition, controversy, etc.
Idioms
  1. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for enter the lists

lists

pl n
  1. history
    1. the enclosed field of combat at a tournament
    2. the barriers enclosing the field at a tournament
  2. any arena or scene of conflict, controversy, etc
  3. enter the lists to engage in a conflict, controversy, etc

Word Origin for lists

C14: plural of list ² (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

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.