Etymology
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mettlesome (adj.)

"full of spirit, fiery, courageous," 1660s, from mettle + -some (1). Related: Mettlesomely; mettlesomeness.

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Definitions of mettlesome

mettlesome (adj.)
having a proud and unbroken spirit;
mettlesome (adj.)
willing to face danger;
Synonyms: game / gamy / gamey / gritty / spirited / spunky
From wordnet.princeton.edu