The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Open and unrestrained: “These paintings and charcoal drawings . . . are slightly tame compared with the no-holds-barred forcefulness of his self-generated vision” (Christopher Andreae).
no-holds-barred - Phrases/Idioms
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.