have nothing on
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have nothing on (someone or something)
1. To have no discernible advantage over someone or something else; to not be any better than someone or something. Yeah, you're pretty good at basketball, but you have nothing on my older brother Steve. Video game systems have gotten pretty impressive, but in my opinion they have nothing on the classic systems from the '90s.
2. To have no decisive incriminating evidence against someone; to have no proof of wrongdoing or criminality about someone. The police can insinuate all they want, but they know they have nothing on me.
3. To have no information available about someone or something. I got this history book for my report, but it has nothing on the topic I want to write about! The encyclopedia entry is horribly outdated—it has nothing on the current president!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
have nothing on someone or something
to have no information about someone or something. (See also have nothing on someone.) The dictionary had nothing on the word I looked up. The librarian said that the library has nothing on the topic of my paper.
have nothing on someone
1. to lack the evidence necessary to place a charge against someone. The police had nothing on Bob, so they let him loose. You've got nothing on me! Let me go!
2. to have an advantage over someone. Roger has nothing on me when it comes to basketball.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
have nothing on
Also, not have anything on.
1. Have no advantage over something or someone, as in This car has nothing on my old one. [c. 1900]
2. Have no damaging information or proof of wrongdoing about someone, as in The police had nothing on him and so were forced to let him go. This usage is the antonym of have something on someone, as in Blackmail requires that you have something on someone wealthy. [c. 1920]
3. Have nothing scheduled for a certain time, as in We have nothing on tonight, so why don't you come over? This expression, and its antonym, have something on, are abbreviations of have nothing (or something) going on.
4. Be naked, as in Please bring in the mail; I just took a bath and don't have anything on.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.