have teeth(redirected from had teeth)
To have enough power to make people listen and obey it, 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.
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.