bare (one's) teeth(redirected from bear their teeth)
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bare (one's) teeth
To display an angry, violent, or threatening reaction to or against something or someone, as does a dog or wolf when threatened. I will bare my teeth to anyone who tries to take away my land. We seemed to be getting along just fine, but she suddenly bared her teeth when I brought up religion.
bare one's teeth
Also, show one's teeth. Indicate hostility and readiness to fight, as in His refusal to accept my offer made it clear I'd have to bare my teeth, or In this instance, calling in a lawyer is showing one's teeth. This figurative term transfers the snarl of a dog to human anger. It first was recorded as show one's teeth in 1615.