Definition of get (or have) the goods on in English:

get (or have) the goods on


  • Obtain (or possess) information about (someone) which may be used to their detriment.

    • ‘This time, you've got the goods on somebody in the office, and you've just shared the wealth with the click of a mouse.’
    • ‘But the Feds didn't have the goods on James, so the charges were dropped.’
    • ‘‘She was trying to help me get the goods on him without saying anything directly,’ I concluded.’
    • ‘They would see his attempt to participate as a trick: he was trying to get the goods on them so as to blow the whistle.’
    • ‘We thought that they would have the goods on him.’
    • ‘He's got the goods on how we all use our computers to goof off and waste time on the job.’
    • ‘It seems a well-connected L.A. mob figure has targeted her son's business for takeover, but the cops can't seem to get the goods on him.’
    • ‘Even if the mainstream media had the goods on them to report, it probably wouldn't, on the grounds that a politician's private life is off limits.’
    • ‘Brass's assigned to pose as a con so he can get the goods on what's happening inside the prison.’
    • ‘You'd think that if he had had the goods on some underhanded publisher, editor, or broadcast executive, he would have used this last opportunity to finger the guilty.’