rub salt in(to) the/(one's) wound(s)

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rub salt in(to) the/(one's) wound(s)

To make something that is already difficult, unpleasant, or painful even worse; to accentuate, aggravate, or intensify a negative situation, emotion, or experience (for someone). After losing the championship match, it really rubbed salt in John's wound for his girlfriend to break up with him the next day. My pride was already hurting when I didn't get the job, but hearing that they gave it to Dave really rubbed salt into the wound. I can't believe you would ask me to pay you back on the day that I got laid off. Thanks for rubbing salt in my wounds, man.
See also: rub, salt

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
References in periodicals archive ?
To make Francois pay Anne just pounds 15,000 compensation is like rubbing salt into the wound.
It said the Tories "conspired to close the coal industry", adding: "It's wrong to allow the museum to be used by a party clearly determined to keep rubbing salt into the wounds.
I still have pals at the club and they haven't been shy about rubbing salt into the wounds.
Deputy mayor Joe Reidy is right when he said the sentence was short enough to begin with - and this is rubbing salt into the wounds.
Even our council is rubbing salt into the wounds of the workers by asking them to pay for insulating council stock houses while the parasites get the whole lot free.
Rubbing salt into the wounds, the patient was told not once, but twice, she did not have the disease.
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