add fuel to the fire

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Related to add fuel to the flames: burst into flames

add fuel to the fire

 and add fuel to the flame
Fig. to make a problem worse; to say or do something that makes a bad situation worse; to make an angry person get even angrier. (Alludes to causing a flame to grow larger someone or something to move forward when fuel is added.) Shouting at a crying child just adds fuel to the fire.
See also: add, fire, fuel

add fuel to the fire

to make a situation worse than it already is Should the government warn the public of terrorist threats, or is this merely adding fuel to the fire?
See also: add, fire, fuel

add fuel to the fire/flames

to make an argument or a bad situation worse His mild words only added fuel to the fire. Isabelle was furious.
See also: add, fire, fuel

add fuel to the fire

Also, add fuel to the flames. Worsen an already bad situation, as by increasing anger, hostility, or passion, as in Bill was upset, and your making fun of his mishap just added fuel to the fire. This metaphor dates from Roman times-Livy used it in his history of Rome-and it remains in common use. For similar metaphors, see add insult to injury; fan the flames.
See also: add, fire, fuel
References in periodicals archive ?
Did Netanyahu's reaction add fuel to the flames of antagonism?
And to add fuel to the flames, Chelsea chairman Ken Bates, Hoddle's former boss at Stamford Bridge, has written to FA chairman Keith Wiseman demanding to be told why such an 'underachieving' coach deserves an improved contract.
And if you are a victim anywhere in Ireland, please talk to someone - silence will only add fuel to the flames.
There are always people ready to criticise our city and we do not need to add fuel to the flames.
00pm AS preparations for Dave's wedding go into overdrive, Lisa grows convinced there's more to Ben and Ally's relationship than meets the eye - and Nathan's keen to add fuel to the flames.
Yesterday, the 30-year-old Scot declined to add fuel to the flames but insisted Wrexham could yet win their battle to stay up.