no holds barred
This page is about the idiom no holds barred
If something is done with no holds barred, it's done without restriction, rules or restraint.
- The final game was played with no holds barred. It was very rough football and the referee had a hard time keeping control of things.
- The election campaign turned into a no-holds-barred battle with each candidate trying to find information with which to damage their opponent's reputation.
If this idiom is used before a noun, hyphens should be added, as in "a no-holds-barred contest".
Origin: From the sport of wrestling, in which certain dangerous holds are not usually allowed. But if wrestlers are in a no-holds-barred contest, there are no restrictions and they can use whatever holds they like.
Contributor: Matt Errey