with (one's) bare hands

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with (one's) bare hands

Using only one's hands. The term typically means without tools, etc., but can also mean without the machinery that would normally be expected to be used in the task being discussed. We had no shovel so we dug the hole with our bare hands. Can you believe she sanded all that wood with her bare hands, using only sandpaper?
See also: bare, hand

bare hands, with one's

With one's hands but without tools, weapons, or other implements. For example, Jean assembled the new stove with her bare hands. This phrase, first recorded in 1604, extends the literal meaning, "with uncovered (that is, without gloves) and hence unprotected hands," to "unaided by implements."
See also: bare

with your bare hands

COMMON If you do something with your bare hands, you do it without using any weapons or tools. If I thought you'd hurt him, I'd kill you now with my bare hands. Rescue workers and residents were digging through tonnes of mud with their bare hands yesterday in search of survivors. Note: You can also say that someone does something bare-handed. A man has wrestled a two-metre crocodile bare-handed in a north Queensland river to save his pet dog from its jaws. Note: This expression is used to emphasize that the thing done is difficult or dangerous.
See also: bare, hand

with your bare ˈhands

with your hands only, without any tools or weapons: He said he’d killed a crocodile with his bare hands!
See also: bare, hand
References in classic literature ?
If I covered my face, and drew the curtains with my bare hands, I should feel the same pain in my hands.
"With my bare hands and my teeth I killed him," he said.
The figure ahead was that of the black dator of the First Born, Thurid, whose undying enmity I had earned that time I laid him low with my bare hands in the courtyard of the Temple of Issus, and bound him with his own harness before the noble men and women who had but a moment before been extolling his prowess.
He tried to close with me, seizing the rifle, but I was stronger than he, and, wrenching the weapon from his grasp, tossed it aside and made for his throat with my bare hands. I had not dared fire the weapon for fear that its report would bring the larger guard stationed at the farther end of the corridor.
And if she tries to undo all the work I have done, then I'm going to try and kill her with my bare hands," Rousey said (http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/11/18/7243871/ufc-ronda-rousey-says-she-will-try-to-kill-cyborg-with-her-bare-hands-wmma) as reported by Bloody Elbow .
I'm 61 and a bit unsteady on my feet, so I couldn't defend myself with my bare hands.
"I am willing to do whatever it takes to correct my wrong-doings, even if that means I have to go to the cemetery and pick up every headstone and statue with my bare hands."
I also had to smash breeze blocks with my bare hands and slice a candle with a sword.
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