One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Cause an emotion such as anger or hatred to become stronger.‘instead of being a calming force you fanned the flames of hostility’
stir up, whip up, encourage, incite, stoke up, fuel, kindle, ignite, inflame, stimulate, instigate, provoke, excite, arouse, awaken, waken, inspire, trigger, spark off, ferment, fomentView synonyms
- ‘Worryingly last week, researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University were in danger of fanning the flames.’
- ‘At a national level, the centre-right coalition Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been accused of fanning the flames of anti-foreigner discrimination.’
- ‘Indeed, her words seem to have fanned the flames.’
- ‘Darcy did not want to fan the flames of her anger.’
- ‘Brown can never, ever, resist fanning the flames of controversy.’
- ‘What's worse they're clearly showing the script to outside parties (historians, etc) in the hopes of fanning the flames.’
- ‘Their annoyance at an apparent inconvenience, more than anything, was what fanned the flames of a cause célèbre.’
- ‘Hopelessly naive, Velma quickly learns to play the game, concocting ever more elaborate lies to fan the flames of her notoriety.’
- ‘In domestic politics, isolation in Europe fans the flames of Euroscepticism.’
- ‘There was a very important decision handed down on December 29, which fanned the flames under the debate about casualisation in the workforce.’
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