rub salt into the wound
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
rub salt in(to) the/(one's) wound(s)
To make something that is already difficult, unpleasant, or painful even worse; to accentuate, aggravate, or intensify a negative situation, emotion, or experience (for someone). After losing the championship match, it really rubbed salt in John's wound for his girlfriend to break up with him the next day. My pride was already hurting when I didn't get the job, but hearing that they gave it to Dave really rubbed salt into the wound. I can't believe you would ask me to pay you back on the day that I got laid off. Thanks for rubbing salt in my wounds, man.
rub salt into the woundor
rub salt in the wound
COMMON If someone or something rubs salt into the wound or in the wound, they make a situation that is already bad for a person seem even worse. I wasn't allowed to eat anything for 24 hours before the operation so I was really hungry and just to rub salt into the wound, had to sit there while Zoe ate the most delicious-looking pizza. The police rubbed salt in the wounds by waving money in the strikers' faces, a reminder of all the overtime they were earning.