add fuel to the flames

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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

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 ?
By holding such views of foolish liberal idealism they are, in a sense, adding fuel to the flames of fanaticism.
He should be trying to bring them together as neighbouring countries, not adding fuel to the flames.
Adding fuel to the flames was English referee Graham Poll's performance last week in the international between Russia and Slovenia which saw Russia lose out to a hotly disputed penalty.
By trying to play down the seriousness of the incident they only succeed in adding fuel to the flames.