add fuel to the flame(s)

(redirected from add fuel to the flame)

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. Anything the mayor says will just add fuel to the flames, so do not let him speak to reporters about this sensitive issue.
See also: add, fuel, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

add ˌfuel to the ˈfire/ˈflames

do or say something which makes a difficult situation worse, or makes somebody even more angry, etc: She was already furious and his apologies and excuses only added fuel to the flames. OPPOSITE: pour oil on troubled water(s)
See also: add, fire, flame, fuel, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

add fuel to the fire/flames, to

To exacerbate an already inflammatory situation, increasing anger or hostility. The Roman historian Livy used this turn of phrase (in Latin) nearly two thousand years ago, and it was repeated (in English) by numerous writers thereafter, among them John Milton (Samson Agonistes, 1671): “He’s gone, and who knows how he may report thy words by adding fuel to the flame.”
See also: add, fire, fuel, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
It is very easy to blame one rather than the other but all this will do is add fuel to the flame with one whilst the other one is winning the argument and as she knows this she will just keep doing it all the more.
BAGHDAD - An Iraqi parliamentarian on Tuesday blamed Iran and the Kurds for the declining security situation in Diala, an accusation described by a Kurdistan Alliance spokesperson as an attempt to "add fuel to the flame."
"The thing we've got to remember is that geopolitical interests add fuel to the flames, but the actual internal drivers of war and peace are always going to be rooted in the local.
Trend believes that such a position and such statements of some Russian Foreign Ministry representatives do not contribute to the conflict's settlement and add fuel to the flames, thereby in fact supporting the occupation policy of Armenia.
"The US declaration of a new Border Security Force in Syria is an objective instance of blatant interference in the countries' internal affairs that will further complicate the crisis in Syria, destabilize the country and add fuel to the flames of fire in Syria," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday.
Let us not add fuel to the flames. It takes character to face defeat, and a humble heart to be magnanimous in victory.
It's easy to get swept along by the fervour and those who condemn him - his leadership opponents Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall, less so Andy Burnham - just add fuel to the flames.
We have the opportunity to add fuel to the flames and give them our full support so we can witness our young countrymen bring our nation to new heights.
These figures are sure to add fuel to the flames: according to the latest calculations by the Ifo Institute, Germany's current account surplus reached a new record in 2013, with 200 billion [euro], equivalent to 7.3 percent of GDP.
They are waging a religious war, Sunni against Shia, that could inflame the entire region with Blair ready to add fuel to the flames by calling for air strikes on Iraq and Syria.
"The record surplus is likely to add fuel to the flames, but I don't see a problem in them," said Stefan Schilbe of HSBC Trinkaus, highlighting the differences of views on both sides of the Atlantic.
"It would appear someone has deliberately entered the rear of the property and set light to the bin before dragging the motorbike across to literally add fuel to the flames.