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Word of the Day
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Definitions for mettle

  1. Courage and fortitude.
  2. Disposition or temperament.

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Citations for mettle
Who is so ignorant as not to know that knights-errant are beyond all jurisdiction, their only law their swords, while their charter is their mettle and their will is their decrees? Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
"--must do something to justify your existence," Marlene was saying to Tim, "and now is the chance to show your mettle." Muriel Spark, The Bachelors
Origin of mettle
Mettle was used interchangeably with the material metal until the early 1700s. Mettle continued to be used in the figurative sense of "stuff of which a person is made" even as the spellings diverged.