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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

rub salt in a wound

Fig. to deliberately make someone's unhappiness, shame, or misfortune worse. Don't rub salt in the wound by telling me how enjoyable the party was. Bill is feeling miserable about losing his job and Bob is rubbing salt into the wound by saying how good his replacement is.
See also: rub, salt, wound
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

rub salt into the wound


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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

rub salt into the (or someone's) wound

make a painful experience even more painful for someone.
See also: rub, salt, wound
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Rubbing salt into wounds of Egyptian revolutionaries, a court Tuesday ordered the release of Zakaria Azmi, the former chief of staff of Mubarak, from custody on an LE200,000 ($33,640) bail pending further investigations.
TALK about rubbing salt into wounds. How must it feel to thousands of families with loved ones posted in Iraq when they realise their children's lives are put at risk for the likes of prince bloody Harry and his family of dysfunctional scroungers?
Even so, your article really challenged my complacency and fatalistic attitude--but had me baffled as to what we in the West can do without rubbing salt into wounds.
HE DOES so much rubbing salt into wounds it is a wonder Nicky Campbell doesn't have Schwarzenegger-sized biceps.
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