What does mettle mean?

Definitions for mettle
ˈmɛt lmet·tle

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word mettle.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. heart, mettle, nerve, spunknoun

    the courage to carry on

    "he kept fighting on pure spunk"; "you haven't got the heart for baseball"


  1. mettlenoun

    A quality of endurance and courage.

  2. mettlenoun

    Good temperament and character.

  3. mettlenoun

    Metal; a metallic substance.

  4. Etymology: Originally a variant of metal.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. METTLEnoun

    Etymology: corrupted from metal,

    What a blunt fellow is this grown to be?
    He was quick mettle when he went to school. William Shakespeare.

    I had rather go with sir priest than sir knight: I care not who knows so much of my mettle. William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night.

    Upon this heaviness of the king’s forces, interpreted to be fear and want of mettle, divers resorted to the seditious. John Hayward, Edw. VI.

    He had given so frequent testimony of signal courage in several actions, that his mettle was never suspected. Edward Hyde.

    ’Tis more to guide than spur the muse’s steed,
    Restrain his fury, than provoke his speed;
    The winged courser, like a gen’rous horse,
    Shows most true mettle when you check his course. Alexander Pope.

    Oh thou! whose self-same mettle,
    Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puft,
    Engenders the black toad, and adder blue. William Shakespeare.


  1. mettle

    Mettle is a person's ability to cope with difficult situations or to show resilience in the face of adversity. It refers to one's strength of character, determination, and resolve.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Mettlenoun

    substance or quality of temperament; spirit, esp. as regards honor, courage, fortitude, ardor, etc.; disposition; -- usually in a good sense

  2. Etymology: [E. metal, used in a tropical sense in allusion to the temper of the metal of a sword blade. See Metal.]


  1. Mettle

    Mettle is the second and final release from art rock band Hugo Largo. It was released by Brian Eno's record label, Opal, on January 1, 1989 and was supported by a European tour following its release. Mettle was produced by then member and current electronic musician, Hahn Rowe.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Mettle

    met′l, n. ardent temperament: spirit: sprightliness: courage.—adjs. Mett′led, Mett′lesome, high-spirited: ardent.—n. Mett′lesomeness, quality or state of being mettlesome.—Put one on his mettle, to rouse a person up to putting forth his best efforts. [From the metal of a blade.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Mettle is ranked #144141 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Mettle surname appeared 115 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Mettle.

    57.3% or 66 total occurrences were White.
    34.7% or 40 total occurrences were Black.
    4.3% or 5 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce mettle?

How to say mettle in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of mettle in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of mettle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of mettle in a Sentence

  1. Rory Bruer:

    It’s such a sweet hold when you only drop 35 % on a film in its second week, it shows the mettle of the picture. Families and young teens are really really embracing the movie.

  2. Michael Avenatti:

    Mr. Cohen has been placed in the crosshairs by Mr. Trump, he has been set-up to take the fall. An enormous amount of misplaced faith has been placed on his shoulders and I do not believe he has the mettle to withstand it.

  3. Venice Film Festival:

    'Everest' documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind, their mettle tested by the harshest elements found on the planet, the climbers will face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for mettle

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"mettle." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/mettle>.

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    an exorbitant or unlawful rate of interest
    • A. vigorish
    • B. germ
    • C. anil
    • D. flair

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