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add fuel to the flame(s)

To do or say something to make an argument, problem, or bad situation worse; to further incense an already angry person or group of people. The debate was going poorly for the senatorial candidate, and his strikingly uncouth comments simply added fuel to the flames. Revelations of the CEO's massive retirement package added fuel to the flame for consumers already furious over the company's dubious financial dealings.
See also: add, fuel

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 insult to injury

Fig. Cliché to make a bad situation worse; to hurt the feelings of a person who has already been hurt. First, the basement flooded, and then, to add insult to injury, a pipe burst in the kitchen. My car barely started this morning, and to add insult to injury, I got a flat tire in the driveway.
See also: add, insult

add something into something

 and add
(something) in to introduce something into something else. Now, add the eggs into the mixture. Add in some more eggs.
See also: add

add (something) to something

to increase the intensity or amount of something by giving more (of something) to it. You added too much sugar to my coffee.
See also: add

add (something) to something

to increase the intensity or amount of something by giving more (of something) to it. You added too much sugar to my coffee.
See also: add

add something together

to sum or total two or more things. Add these two together and tell me what you get.
See also: add, together

add something up

to sum or total a set of figures. (See also add up (to something).) Please add these figures up again. I didn't add up these figures!
See also: add, up

add up

 (to something)
1. Lit. [for a set of figures] to equal a total. These figures don't add up to the right total!
2. Fig. [for facts or explanations] to make sense. (Considering facts as if they were figures.) Your explanation just doesn't add up!
See also: add, up

amount to the same thing

 and come to the same thing; add up to the same thing
Fig. to be the same [as something]. Borrowing can be the same as stealing. If the owner does not know what you have borrowed, it amounts to the same thing. With cars—whether they're red or blue—it comes to the same thing.
See also: amount, same, thing

tack something onto something

 and tack something on
to add something onto something. The waiter kept tacking charges onto my bill. He tacked on charge after charge.
See also: tack

add up

(spoken)
1. to be reasonable His story of what happened to him just doesn't add up.
Usage notes: usually used with not, as in the example
2. to increase in expense With five kids in the family, our medical bills really add up.
See also: add, up

add up to something

to result in something The details don't add up to a complete picture of what caused the explosion. Related vocabulary: amount to something
See also: add, up

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 insult to injury

to make a bad situation worse The airline charged me extra for checking in a bike and then added insult to injury by charging me for a box to pack it in.
See also: add, insult

amount to the same thing

also come to the same thing
to be nearly the same thing, after you consider it She wanted him to suffer and she wanted to punish him, which amounts to the same thing.
See also: amount, same, thing

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 insult to injury

to make a bad situation even worse for someone by doing something else to upset them First of all he arrived an hour late and then, to add insult to injury, he proceeded to complain about my choice of restaurant.
See also: add, insult

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

add insult to injury

Hurt a person's feelings after doing him or her harm; also, make a bad situation worse. For example, Not only did the club refuse him, but it published a list of the rejected applicants-that's adding insult to injury , or The nearest parking space was half a mile away, and then, to add insult to injury, it began to pour : The phrase is an ancient one, even older than its often cited use in the Roman writer Phaedrus's fable of the bald man and the fly. A fly bit the head of a bald man, who, trying to crush it, gave himself a heavy blow. The fly then jeered, "You want to avenge an insect's sting with death; what will you do to yourself, who have added insult to injury?" In English it was first recorded in 1748.
See also: add, insult

add up

1. Amount to an expected or correct total, as in These figures don't add up, meaning they are not correct. [Mid-1800s]
2. Be consistent, make sense, as in I'm not sure that all this testimony will add up. [First half of 1900s]
3. Assess, form an opinion of, as in He looked across the track and added up the competition. Also see add up to.
See also: add, up

add up to

Amount to, signify, as in The smooth airline connections, luxury hotel, and fine weather added up to the best vacation we'd ever had . [Early 1900s] Also see add up.
See also: add, up

amount to the same thing

Also, come to the same thing. Make no difference, be the same, as in Since it's supposed to rain all day, whether I go outdoors now or later will amount to the same thing , or Paying in cash or with a credit card, it comes to the same thing.
See also: amount, same, thing

add on

v.
1. To increase, by some additional amount, a quantity that is associated with something: The waiter added $5 on the bill for the extra pretzels we ordered. That tip is too low for the good service we had, so let's add on another dollar. Last night, the storm added on more than twenty inches to the record snowfall.
2. To attach something in order to extend or enlarge something else: We're adding another room on the back of the house. The guest list is full, so we can't add anybody else on. If there aren't enough logs in the fire, add another one on.
See also: add, on

add to

v.
To increase the amount or intensity of something: The increase in fuel prices will add to the cost of living in the city. After I broke my arm, I added to my misery by chipping a tooth.
See also: add

add up

v.
1. To calculate a sum by adding some set of numbers: The students added up the numbers they had copied from the blackboard. If you add all the scores up, we'll find out who won.
2. To calculate something, especially by addition: The shopkeeper added up the day's profits.
3. To amount to an expected total: Unfortunately, when we put the numbers into the equation, they did not add up.
4. To be reasonable, plausible, or consistent; make sense: The jury did not believe the witness's testimony because it simply did not add up.
See also: add, up

add up to

To constitute; amount to: The revisions added up to a lot of work.
See also: add, up
References in classic literature ?
I don't like him," she added in a tone admitting of no rejoinder and raising her eyebrows.
We would take great care of her," she added, "and we should really like it.
Had she not added Pooh I might have spared her, but as it was I raised the blotting-pad rather haughtily and presented her with the sheet beneath it.
She said this so timidly that I was about to melt to her when she added with extraordinary boldness, "The little white bird was to bear an olive-leaf in its mouth.
Daniell I have met, and Lord Romsey may perhaps do me the honour of remembering me," he added, shaking hands with the Cabinet Minister.
And, Lord Romsey," she added, turning to her neighbour, "please don't imagine for a moment that I am going to break my promise.
Yet Split-Nose said no; that he did not want to go back, but ahead; that they grew strong only as they added their strength together; and that, if the Fish-Eaters would add their strength to the Meat-Eaters, there would be no more fighting and no more watchers and no more guards, and that, with all men working, there would be so much food that each man would have to work not more than two hours a day.
if I'd known what mischief I was doing to that mighty delicate machine of mine, you wouldn't have caught me reading by firelight, or studying with a glare of sunshine on my book," said Mac, peering solemnly at a magnified eye-ball; then, pushing it away, he added indignantly, "Why isn't a fellow taught all about his works, and how to manage 'em, and not left to go blundering into all sorts of worries?
Alec was one of these, and his big heart had room for every one of the eight cousins, especially orphaned Rose and afflicted Mac; so, when the boy uttered that unconscious reproach to his parents, and Rose added with a sigh, "It must be beautiful to have a mother
If you knew all, you, too, would blame me - perhaps even more than I deserve - though I have cruelly wronged you,' she added in a low murmur, as if she mused aloud.
she added, 'I have no great crime to confess; but I have more than you will like to hear, or, perhaps, can readily excuse, - and more than I can tell you now; so let me entreat you to leave me
If that there King was to wake,' added Tweedledum, 'you'd go out--bang
Not a rattleSNAKE, you know,' she added hastily, thinking that he was frightened: only an old rattle--quite old and broken.
He added, in a whisper to me, as I was following the Sergeant out, "I know what that man is going to say about Rachel; and I am too fond of her to hear it, and keep my temper.
Not if you live a thousand years,' added Miss Sally.