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pour gasoline on the fire



Alternative formsEdit


pour gasoline on the fire (third-person singular simple present pours gasoline on the fire, present participle pouring gasoline on the fire, simple past and past participle poured gasoline on the fire)

  1. (idiomatic) To worsen a conflict between people; to inflame an already tense situation.
    • 1992, Douglas Brinkley, Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years, 1953-71, Yale University Press (1992), →ISBN, page 295:
      Instead of using the opportunity to ease the tensions between Bonn and Washington, Acheson chose to pour gasoline on the fire.
    • 2003, Dennis Piszkiewicz, Terrorism's War with America: A History, Greenwood Press (2003), →ISBN, page 39:
      The Ayatollah Khomeini poured gasoline on the fire with his comments on the mosque seizure, which were broadcast by Iranian radio the day after the attack.
    • 2008, E. L. Merkel, Virgins and Martyrs, Five Star (2008), →ISBN, page 223:
      As I waited, my silence seemed to pour gasoline on the fire of Jack Reagan's irritation.