rub salt into the wound/into somebody's wounds

rub salt into the wound

or

rub salt in the wound

COMMON If someone or something rubs salt into the wound or in the wound, they make a situation that is already bad for a person seem even worse. I wasn't allowed to eat anything for 24 hours before the operation so I was really hungry and just to rub salt into the wound, had to sit there while Zoe ate the most delicious-looking pizza. The police rubbed salt in the wounds by waving money in the strikers' faces, a reminder of all the overtime they were earning.
See also: rub, salt, wound

rub salt into the (or someone's) wound

make a painful experience even more painful for someone.
See also: rub, salt, wound

rub ˈsalt into the wound/into somebody’s wounds

make somebody who is already feeling upset, angry, etc. about something feel even worse: She was already upset about not getting the job, but when they gave it to one of her own trainees it really rubbed salt into the wound.
See also: rub, salt, wound