put some teeth into

put teeth in(to) (something)

1. To make something stronger or more effective, especially a rule or piece of legislation. Senators are hoping to put teeth into the healthcare bill by attaching the threat of huge fines to insurance companies that don't comply. You'll never put teeth in the regulations if officers are not allowed to make arrests.
2. To engage with or start work on something with great interest, enthusiasm, or intensity. In this usage, a possessive pronoun is used between "put" and "teeth." I was starting to feel really restless with all the busywork I was being assigned. I needed something substantial that I could really put my teeth into. The book was a bit too dry for me to put my teeth in it completely, but it still contained a lot of interesting information.
See also: put, teeth
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

put some teeth into something

Fig. to increase the power or efficacy of something. The mayor tried to put some teeth into the new law. The delivery clause in the contract is too weak. Put some teeth into it.
See also: put, teeth
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
The Eugene City Council voted Monday to put some teeth into previously approved goals to reduce the city's fossil fuel use and carbon emissions.
The move finally put some teeth into EU opposition to settlements built on territory Israel seized in a 1967 war and which are now home to more than 500,000 Israelis.
He said China, like the U.S., wanted denuclearization, adding, "If that's your policy, you've got to put some teeth into it."
"The new policy will finally put some teeth into U.S.
Under the federal WARN Act, those companies that employ more than 100 people are required to issue a warning before instituting a layoff, but two years ago the state Legislature passed a law lowering the threshold to 75 workers, as well as attempting to put some teeth into the law.
California has put some teeth into existing rules that require owners of real property to proactively evaluate every transaction involving entities owning real estate in California to determine whether a notice need be filed with the California Board of Equalization.
Supporters said this fine would put some teeth into provisions that often require agencies and programs to file a report with the Legislature and noted the state can currently do little or nothing if these reports are not filed.
Clinton defended her vote by noting that it ''gives us the options to be able to impose sanctions on the primary leaders to try to begin to put some teeth into all this talk about dealing with Iran.'' That's right.
filed formal complaints with the WTO last week, seeking to put some teeth into efforts to clamp down on bootleg DVDs, CDs and other goods, Chinese officials reacted with "strong dissatisfaction," according to the Xinhua news agency.
Ayer again delivers another of the world's finest actors revelling in the chance to put some teeth into a troubled soul.
One of the best ways to put some teeth into what you are communicating and demonstrating to your legislators is to provide them with facts and figures to back up the good work you do in your communities.
Block's recent ID Consult column "Put Some Teeth Into Your Exam" (July 2003, p.
In this case, the court put some teeth into the provision of the Veterans Judicial Review Act, which commands BVA to give reasons or bases for its decisions and to accord the veteran the benefit of the doubt as instructed by the act.
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