have teeth

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have teeth

To have enough power or support of authority to compel obedience or punish offenders, as of a law. This new law against littering has teeth, so if you don't pick up your trash, you'll get a hefty fine. It's a good idea, but it simply doesn't have teeth—there's no way to enforce it.
See also: have, teeth

have teeth

If an organization or law has teeth, it has the necessary authority or power to make people obey it. Pro-democracy campaigners complain that the new assembly will have no teeth. This legislation has teeth, but judges are not imposing the tougher penalties.
See also: have, teeth

have ˈteeth

(British English, informal) (of an organization, a law, etc.) be powerful and effective: It appears that the new legislation doesn’t have any teeth, since there has been no improvement in working conditions.
See also: have, teeth
References in classic literature ?
The part of duty I am now upon, though necessary, is very disagreeable to my natural make and temper, as I know it must be grievous to you, who are of the same species; but it is not my business to animadvert but to obey such orders as I receive, and therefore, without hesitation, shall deliver you his Majesty's orders and instructions, namely- that your lands and tenements, cattle of all kinds and live stock of all sorts, are forfeited to the Crown; with all other your effects, saving your money and household goods, and you yourselves to be removed from this his Province.
Thus it is peremptorily his Majesty's orders that the whole French inhabitants of these Districts be removed; and I am, through his Majesty's goodness, directed to allow you liberty to carry off your money and household goods, as many as you can without discommoding the vessels you go in.
She never came back, and two years later, without selling his farm or anything that was his, or appointing an agent to look after his interests, or removing his household goods, Harding, with the rest of the family, left the country.
I sold all my household goods by public auction, and joined a company of merchants who traded by sea, embarking with them at Balsora in a ship which we had fitted out between us.
People came panting along under heavy bur- dens; one husband and wife were even carrying a small out- house door between them, with some of their household goods piled thereon.
What little clothing and few household goods we had were placed in a cart, but the children walked the greater portion of the distance, which was several hundred miles.
The first fortnight after their return had been a pleasantly exciting one; they had been busy setting up their household goods, organizing their little establishment, and adjusting different opinions.
The vehicles, loaded with household goods and implements of husbandry, the few straggling sheep and cattle that were herded in the rear, and the rugged appearance and careless mien of the sturdy men who loitered at the sides of the lingering teams, united to announce a band of emigrants seeking for the Elderado of the West.
To thine honour we refer the armour and household goods of the Order which we leave behind us, and on thy conscience we lay the scandal and offence thou hast this day given to Christendom.
A family who had come to the town and been reduced to poverty were selling their household goods and clothes, all women's things.
Patients who have had teeth whitening services are more likely to take better care of their teeth.
One thing is for sure, things will only get worse with time, and even if you have had teeth missing a long time it is still worth talking to Robin or your own dentist.
The survey showed that of the 1,510 children surveyed in Solihull, 79 per cent had teeth free from decay and every one of them drank fluoridated water.