no holds barred

Idioms & Phrases

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.

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