make bricks without straw

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]

Words Nearby make bricks without straw

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

How to use make bricks without straw in a sentence

  • "I can't make bricks without straw," Allen retorted sullenly.

    Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo | E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • But the brownies do not work unbidden, and they will not make bricks without straw.

    Major Prophets of To-Day | Edwin E. Slosson
  • Probably you would feel as we suppose the Israelites did when required to make bricks without straw.

  • He had so often been called upon to “make bricks without straw,” that he exulted in this splendid material ready to his hand.

  • But Russia was compelled to improvise, to make bricks without straw.

    England and Germany | Emile Joseph Dillon