rub salt in the wound

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EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

Derived from the stingingly painful sensation of table salt deliberately being rubbed into an open, bleeding wound, as for torture, interrogation, etc.

VerbEdit

rub salt in the wound

  1. (idiomatic) To make an injury, physical or emotional, feel worse.

Usage notesEdit

  • For rub, one can substitute verbs such as add, pour, put, possibly requiring a change in the preposition in.
  • See salt in the wound for variations in that portion of the expression.

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit