have nothing on (someone or something)(redirected from have nothing on them)
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 in recent years, 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 that'll stick.
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 The library is horribly outdated—it has nothing on the current president!
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.
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.
have (got) nothing on someone or somethingbe not nearly as good as someone or something, especially in a particular respect.
1998 Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible Those glassy museum stares have got nothing on you, my uncaptured favorite child, wild as the day is long.
have nothing on someone or something1 have much less of a particular quality or ability than someone or something; be inferior to someone or something in a particular respect. 2 (especially of the police) have no incriminating information about someone. informal
have nothing on somebody(informal)
1 have much less of a particular quality than something/somebody: I’m quite a fast worker, but I’ve got nothing on her! ♢ Although all four children could play the piano well, the three boys had nothing on Joan, who played like an angel.
2 (of the police, etc.) have no information that could show somebody to be guilty of something: Look, they’ve got nothing on you, so stop worrying! OPPOSITE: have something on somebody