give teeth to (something)

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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 ?
It also gives teeth to the principle of voluntary repatriation through informed consent (and not just 'repatriation') as a fundamental component of any process of refugee return.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said the circular gives teeth to President Duterte's order issued during his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) as this will impose sanctions on non-compliant local executives.
The statement also urged groups like the Buhari Media Organisation to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into law the recently passed Electoral law, which it said gives teeth to several electoral reforms aimed at ensuring free and fair elections.
The law gives teeth to the previous 1995 version of the law as it now outrightly prohibits and makes hazing a criminal act while providing more substantial penalties for those who would be proven guilty.
BCCI panel members sought the government's assistance because it cannot supersede the RCA -- and select various teams on its behalf -- due to the stringent Rajasthan Sports Act 2005 that gives teeth to the RCA.
133, Series of 2013, passed by the Valenzuela City Council, which gives teeth to enforce the Clean Water Act and other associated local ordinances for the prevention of water pollution.
A consequence of the 2010 Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform, Ability to Repay gives teeth to the law that requires mortgage lenders to make sure borrowers can afford their loans.
Though the region's regulatory model has been effective through the crisis, it would be enhanced by Basel III, as it gives teeth to regulation in case of non-compliance.
His vice-president's Latin American tour gives teeth to the now more-clearly stated aim of strengthening South-South cooperation.
"In the event the Court gives teeth to the partisan gerrymandering cause of action, I suspect it will be open season on the 2002 plans.
Produced with the input of stakeholders as diverse as paper companies and Greenpeace, this policy gives teeth to the overall environmental sustainability policy of the company.
The pilot test gives teeth to the law that mandates setting up "accessible polling places" for the aged and physically challenged who request for them.