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Definition of mettle:

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

Synonyms:

nervus, marrow, gut, heart, essence, meat, warmheartedness, nub, kernel, middle, bosom, gameness, pump, energy, stoutheartedness, spunkiness, doughtiness, touchwood, punk, affection, stamina, inwardness, pluckiness, valiantness, brass, nerve, center, substance, animation, gallantry, heart and soul, dauntlessness, spunk, kindling, philia, undauntedness, fondness, tinder, sum, valiancy, force, affectionateness, centre, gutsiness, pith, face, life, ticker, tenderness, eye, gist, fear, strength, core, warmness, vitality, spirit, nitty-gritty, cheek.

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