Definition of no holds barred in US English:

no holds barred


  • 1(in wrestling) with no restrictions on the kinds of holds that are used.

    • ‘I have 9 no holds barred fights and am ranked the #1 fighter in the world under 155 lb.’
    • ‘This time it was McCabe versus Steel, in a tag match with no holds barred.’
    • ‘So basically after the bands have finished they put this ring up, they actually construct a ring in the bar, anyone can go up and you can have gloves, bareknuckle or no holds barred, three round fights.’
    • ‘Forms of contemporary no holds barred wrestling in which rules are thrown out the window are Hardcore Wrestling and Cage Fighting.’
    • ‘A fun, no holds barred brawl between Finlay and JBL started the night off right.’
    • ‘This would be a bruising, no-holds-barred grapple.’
    1. 1.1 Used to convey that no rules or restrictions apply in a conflict or dispute.
      ‘no-holds-barred military action’
      • ‘But clearly what was taking place was a bitter power struggle between opposing ruling cliques with no holds barred on either side.’
      • ‘There were no holds barred in that war.’
      • ‘The host assured us that this was to be a ‘frank, open exchange, with no holds barred.’’
      • ‘This was a tough no holds barred encounter which threatened to spill over at several junctures such was the committed and no-nonsense approach adopted by both teams.’
      • ‘The two redoubled their efforts, attacking each other viciously, no holds barred.’
      • ‘It was an assassin's duel, the usual messy fray, no holds barred.’
      • ‘They will act with no holds barred, including the use of nuclear weapons.’
      • ‘‘It is a totally honest account of what it was like to be with the front line pickets, no holds barred, a wonderful document,’ he says.’
      • ‘Keep the questions coming, ask about anything that is on your mind with no holds barred, and I will do my best to provide answers.’
      • ‘Wouldn't it be supremely interesting to hear what people had to say about you with no holds barred?’