add fuel to the flame(s)(redirected from add fuel to the flames)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to add fuel to the flames: burst into flames
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
add ˌfuel to the ˈfire/ˈflamesdo 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)
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.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer