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.
See also: add, fuel

add fuel to the flames

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 flames for consumers already furious over the company's dubious financial dealings.
See also: add, flame, fuel

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
References in periodicals archive ?
China Mobile is to release the closely-watched 3G Ophone next week, while rival China Unicom is to bring Apple's iPhone to China as soon as Friday, which may add fuel to the flames in the fiercely competitive Chinese market.
The marking of this occasion is bound to add fuel to the flames of the ongoing fire of the "right to return" for Palestinian refugees.
To add fuel to the flames, as it were, I believe the original pattern had a strong resemblance to one variant of the Coch a bonddu which Twm Twm, the great fly-dresser of the upper Wye, dressed.
At a time when the justice system is coming under fire by a public concerned that it is 'too soft' this latest revelation will simply add fuel to the flames.
Mind you, the written media add fuel to the flames. When a jockey is killed, as they all too frequently are, you rarely see it reported outside the racing section.
And he is especially concerned that the current unrest has resulted in members of his family being contacted by the media, despite their unwillingness to add fuel to the flames.
Did Netanyahu's reaction add fuel to the flames of antagonism?
And to add fuel to the flames, Chelsea chairman Ken Bates, Hoddle's former boss at Stamford Bridge, has written to FA chairman Keith Wiseman demanding to be told why such an 'underachieving' coach deserves an improved contract.
To add fuel to the flames of hot rumour, crew members were banned from taking cameras on to the set.