• WordNet 3.6
    • n mettle the courage to carry on "he kept fighting on pure spunk","you haven't got the heart for baseball"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Mettle Substance or quality of temperament; spirit, esp. as regards honor, courage, fortitude, ardor, etc.; disposition; -- usually in a good sense; as, to test a person's mettle . "A certain critical hour which shall . . . try what mettle his heart is made of.""Gentlemen of brave mettle .""The winged courser, like a generous horse,
      Shows most true mettle when you check his course."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n mettle Same as metal.
    • n mettle Physical or moral constitution; material.
    • n mettle Natural tempera me ut; specifically, a masculine and ardent temperament; spirit; courage; ardor; enthusiasm.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Mettle met′l ardent temperament: spirit: sprightliness: courage
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
E. metal, used in a tropical sense in allusion to the temper of the metal of a sword blade. See Metal
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From the metal of a blade.


In literature:

I feel in good form for it, so you'd better be on your mettle.
"The Underworld" by James C. Welsh
In the first place, I know Tom was a lad of mettle.
"Philip Winwood" by Robert Neilson Stephens
The town felt itself put upon its mettle.
"A Woman Named Smith" by Marie Conway Oemler
They have their mettle about them.
"Verner's Pride" by Mrs. Henry Wood
This roused our mettle, and we set into drilling and learning manoeuvres with more zeal.
"The Yankee Tea-party" by Henry C. Watson
O brave jack tars, show the mettle you are made of in the eyes of all Quebec this night!
"French and English" by Evelyn Everett-Green
For Kenny, reckless and on his mettle, was a finished actor.
"Kenny" by Leona Dalrymple
Len, if I am ever on my mettle to do a perfect job, it'll be then!
"Red Pepper's Patients" by Grace S. Richmond
But Rundle knew his men; he knew their mettle; he had tried them with long, weary marching, and he knew that they were worthy of his trust.
"Campaign Pictures of the War in South Africa (1899-1900)" by A. G. Hales
Joan Randle, in a spirit of anger, sent Jim Cleve out to a lawless Western mining camp, to prove his mettle.
"The Turtles of Tasman" by Jack London

In poetry:

Well —- time will settle
whether that has mettle!
We find these facts we're getting
"Table Hymn" by Jonas Hallgrimsson
John wore a girdle about his midle,
Imbroidered owre with burning gold,
Bespangled with the same mettle,
Maist beautiful! was to behold.
"Johnny Armstrong (original)" by Anonymous British
``And it rears and plunges, it chafes and foams,
But I am its master still,
And its mettle I tame till it halts or roams
At whatever pace I will.
"The Wind Speaks" by Alfred Austin
But Ionne had a bright sword by his side,
And it was made of the mettle so free,
That had not the king stept his foot aside,
He had smitten his head from his faire bodde.
"Johnny Armstrong" by Anonymous British
But if a fight can make the matter right,
Here are we, classmates, thirty men of mettle;
We're strong and tough, we've lived nigh long enough,--
What if the Nation gave it us to settle?
"How To Not Settle It" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Then crash'd a low binder, and then close behind her
The sward to the strokes of the favourite shook;
His rush roused her mettle, yet ever so little
She shortened her stride as we raced at the brook.
"How We Beat The Favourite" by Adam Lindsay Gordon

In news:

Ford skid in ratings true test of mettle .
Between Auto Show and Showroom, a Supercar's Mettle Is Tested.
Do Packers have mettle to rise from the ashes.
Money-Fund Curbs Test Council's Mettle .
Any Bailout for Madrid Would Test the EU's Mettle .
New York Mettle (And Metal) To Take Center Stage At 2013 Inauguration.
When the president-elect takes the oath of office Jan 21, he and 1600 other VIPs will gather on a stage supported by New York mettle (and metal).
Storm rested, ready to test mettle in playoffs.
"For Ellen" a quiet study of a man's metal (and mettle ).
Pitt defense showing its mettle .
Burberry Prorsum Shows Its Mettle With Metallics.
Schumer to test thieves mettle with proposed law.
Mudville / Sports Pitching to test Ventura's mettle .
Sabres certain to test mettle of 0-1 Spartans.
Haywood volunteer firefighters test mettle in annual showdown.

In science:

We expect that modifying our generation model by also controlling the graph structure might lead to other harder instances, or other interesting properties that would test the mettle of various algorithms.
Consistency and Random Constraint Satisfaction Models
We can test our mettle on experimental simulation of the Big Bang, in relativistic heavy ion collisions.
Future Summary