Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
rub it in
1. To make someone feel worse about an already bad, unpleasant, or undesirable situation or outcome. A: "You know that this means you won't get to qualify for the state championships, right?" B: "Sheesh, no need to rub it in, Dave."
2. To flaunt one's success or good fortune in order to make someone jealous. Yes, I know you're going to Japan with the money you won in the lottery—you don't need to rub it in!
rub something in
Fig. to keep reminding one of one's failures; to nag someone about something. I like to rub it in. You deserve it! Why do you have to rub in everything I do wrong?
Also, rub it in. Harp on something, especially an unpleasant matter, as in She always rubs in the fact that she graduated with honors and I didn't, or I know I forgot your birthday, but don't keep rubbing it in. This idiom alludes to the expression rub salt into a wound, an action that makes the wound more painful; it dates from medieval times and remains current. [Mid-1800s] Also see rub someone's nose in it.
1. To work something into a surface by rubbing: I put lotion on my hands and rubbed it in. Don't try to clean the shirt now—you will only rub in the stain.
2. To talk deliberately and excessively about something unpleasant in order to make another person feel bad: She always rubs in the fact that she has more money than me. I know I made a mistake—there's no need to rub it in.