bare hands, with one's

Idioms & Phrases

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."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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