fuel

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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

fuel 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 fueled the flames. Revelations of the CEO's massive retirement package fueled the flame for consumers already furious over the company's dubious financial dealings.
See also: fuel

fuel the fire(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 fueled the fires. Revelations of the CEO's massive retirement package fueled the fire for consumers already furious over the company's dubious financial dealings.
See also: fuel

pour fuel on the fire

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. You know mom's upset with you. Don't pour fuel on the fire by coming home late again. Revelations of the CEO's massive retirement package poured fuel on the fire for consumers already furious over the company's dubious financial dealings.
See also: fire, fuel, on, pour

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

fuel something (up)

to put fuel into something. I have to fuel this car up before I go any farther. I need to fuel up the car.

fuel up

to fill one's tank with fuel. Let's stop here and fuel up. I need to fuel up at the next little town.
See also: fuel, up

take fuel on

to refuel; to be refueled. (Usually said of a large conveyance, such as a ship or a plane.) We need to land at the next major airport to take fuel on. We will land somewhere to take on fuel.
See also: fuel, on, take

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

fuel up

v.
To fill the gas tank of a vehicle with gasoline or other fuel: The family fueled up the car before leaving for the lake. I fueled the truck up so we wouldn't have to stop. It's time to go; let's fuel up.
See also: fuel, up

take on fuel

tv. to drink alcohol to excess. They stopped at the tavern to take on fuel.
See also: fuel, on, take