make bricks without straw

make bricks without straw

To do or attempt to do something without the basic necessary tools or materials one needs. They don't give us nearly enough time or support to get these projects to the standards they should be, so we end up making bricks without straw. You're never going to have a championship team unless they start recruiting players who are actually any good. You can't make bricks without straw.
See also: brick, make, straw, without
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

make bricks without straw

Perform a task without essential materials or means, as in Writing a report without the current data is making bricks without straw. This expression alludes to straw as a material necessary in early brick manufacturing. [Early 1600s]
See also: brick, make, straw, without
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

make bricks without straw

If you make bricks without straw, you try to achieve something without the resources that are needed for it. Teachers have become experts at making bricks without straw. Note: This expression is from the Bible and refers to Pharaoh's order that the captive Israelites should not be given any straw to make bricks. (Exodus 5:7)
See also: brick, make, straw, without
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

make bricks without straw

try to accomplish something without proper or adequate material, equipment, or information.
The allusion here is to Exodus 5:6–19 where ‘without straw’ meant ‘without having straw provided’, as the Israelites were required to gather straw for themselves in order to make the bricks required by their Egyptian taskmasters. A misinterpretation has led to the current sense.
See also: brick, make, straw, without
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

make ˌbricks without ˈstraw

(British English) try to do a piece of work without the necessary materials, equipment or information: I don’t know how you expect me to cook dinner when there’s hardly any food in the house. You can’t make bricks without straw, you know.This is based on a story in the Bible. At that time, straw was an essential material for making bricks.
See also: brick, make, straw, without
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
You can't make bricks without straw ACTUALLY you can, perfectly well.
To pursue the image in a biblical vein, teachers are more and more called upon "to make bricks without straw".
Even such splendid performers as Irek Mukhamedov and Adam Cooper, alternating in the role of Quint, were unable to make bricks without straw or ghosts without dancing.