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make bricks without straw

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Perform a task without essential materials or means, as in Writing a report without the current data is making bricks without straw. This expression alludes to straw as a material necessary in early brick manufacturing. [Early 1600s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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