adjective, adverb

with hands uncovered: He caught the baseball barehanded.
without tools, weapons, or other means: foolishly coming barehanded to the besieged city.

Origin of barehanded

First recorded in 1400–50, barehanded is from the late Middle English word bare-handyd. See bare1, handed Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for barehanded

Historical Examples of barehanded

  • You can't just walk in on a Throg barehanded and be bound by orders such as that!

    Storm Over Warlock

    Andre Norton

  • In a barehanded fight I'd bite your ears off and ram 'em down your throat.


    Robert Shea

  • Wouldn't it have been better to attack the Indians barehanded and be killed than to let that happen?


    Robert Shea

  • Were he alone with Armand, he would hurl himself at him and try to kill him, barehanded.


    Robert Shea

  • No longer now was he fighting the forces of nature, all barehanded and alone.

    Darkness and Dawn

    George Allan England

British Dictionary definitions for barehanded


adverb, adjective

without weapons, tools, etc
with hands uncovered
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for barehanded

also bare-handed, mid-15c., from bare (adj.) + handed.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper