pull teeth

(redirected from pull your teeth)

pull teeth

1. To do something that is especially difficult, tedious, or requires an extreme amount of effort; to do something in the most difficult or unpleasant way possible. With this new way of preparing vegetables, you'll no longer have to pull teeth to get your kids to eat their greens! I've been pulling teeth trying to get my family members organized for this get together, but I think it will all be worth it!
2. To make someone or something less powerful, potent, or effective. A noun or pronoun is used between "pull" and "teeth." The watchdog did a great job keeping predatory loan sharks in check, but the new policy really pulled the agency's teeth. Corporate lobbyists are trying to pull the new law's teeth to give them greater leeway in the market.
See also: pull, teeth
References in periodicals archive ?
He said: "It is like going to the dentist and having the secretary pull your teeth out - it is very dangerous.
A violent boyfriend was jailed yesterday for holding a pair of pliers to his partner's face and telling her 'I'm going to pull your teeth out.'
It's enough to make you pull your teeth out all by yourself