: free of restrictions or hampering conventions
a no-holds-barred contest

Word History

First Known Use

1961, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of no-holds-barred was in 1961

Dictionary Entries Near no-holds-barred

Cite this Entry

“No-holds-barred.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/no-holds-barred. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on no-holds-barred

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY