no holds barred

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no holds barred

Having no restraints or restrictions. (An allusion to wrestling, in which certain holds are disallowed. Usually used before a noun, in which case it is hyphenated.) Her no-holds-barred interview of the president has been making waves across the nation. The play is a no-holds-barred indictment of religion. I could hear them arguing no olds barred.
See also: barred, hold

no holds barred

Fig. with no restraints. (Alludes to a wrestling match in which all holds are legal.) I intend to argue it out with Mary, no holds barred. When Ann negotiates a contract, she goes in with no holds barred and comes out with a good contract.
See also: barred, hold

no holds barred

Without any restrictions, as in Telephone companies are entering the market for Internet users with no holds barred. This expression comes from wrestling, where certain holds are illegal, or barred, and has been used figuratively since about 1940.
See also: barred, hold

no-holds-barred

COMMON You use no-holds-barred to describe something which is done in a forceful or extreme way, without any limits. Jones had a no-holds-barred approach to the game of football. Note: This expression refers to a wrestling match in which many of the usual rules do not apply, and so competitors can hold their opponent in any way they like.

no holds barred

no rules or restrictions apply in a particular conflict or dispute.
No holds barred was originally a phrase used only in wrestling, where it indicated that there were no restrictions on the kinds of holds used.
See also: barred, hold

(with) ˌno ˌholds ˈbarred

(of fighting, competition, etc.) with no or very few rules or restrictions: This started off as a very clean election campaign, but now it’s no holds barred.a no-holds-barred row over the latest political scandal
In wrestling, no holds barred means that there are no rules about which ways of holding your opponent are allowed and which are not.
See also: barred, hold

no holds barred

mod. without restriction. (There is no affirmative version of this.) I want you to get that contract. Do anything—no holds barred.
See also: barred, hold

no holds barred

Without limits, regulations, or restraints.
See also: barred, hold