give teeth to (something)

(redirected from given teeth to)

give teeth to (something)

To make something stronger or more effective, especially a rule or piece of legislation. Senators are hoping to give teeth to the healthcare bill by attaching the threat of huge fines to insurance companies that don't comply. You'll never give teeth to the regulations if officers are not allowed to make arrests.
See also: give, teeth
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

give teeth to something

 and put teeth in(to) something
Fig. to make something powerful; to give something a real effect. The severe penalty really gives teeth to the law. Strong enforcement puts teeth in the regulation.
See also: give, teeth
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
She is the only Ombudsman I know who has given teeth to a law more than 60 years old (Republic Act No.
The EU released two recommendations in April on remuneration in the financial sector and for directors of listed companies, but has since given teeth to its guidelines as part of a review of the Capital Requirements Directive.
New tax legislation has also given teeth to College Savings Plans.
"The Scottish Charities Office should be given teeth to launch its own investigations without having to wait for complaints."
The Secretary of State has given teeth to a body previously dismissed as toothless.
Despite the strong clamor of well-meaning and good-intentioned members of society, the House of Representatives failed to enact a very important piece of legislation that would have given teeth to transparency and accountability measures in government bureaucracy.
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