Definition of put someone on their mettle in English:

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put someone on their mettle

(Of a demanding situation) test someone’s ability to face difficulties: there were regular public meetings where local MPs were put on their mettle and remorselessly pilloried
More example sentences
  • This way of thinking was made explicit only when critics such as Vincenzo Borghini were put on their mettle to defend the Baptistery's antiquity.
  • Coventry's opening was brisk and sufficiently to the point to put Tottenham on their mettle.
See parent entry: mettle
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