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
- ‘There was a very important decision handed down on December 29, which fanned the flames under the debate about casualisation in the workforce.’
- ‘In domestic politics, isolation in Europe fans the flames of Euroscepticism.’
- ‘At a national level, the centre-right coalition Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been accused of fanning the flames of anti-foreigner discrimination.’
- ‘What's worse they're clearly showing the script to outside parties (historians, etc) in the hopes of fanning the flames.’
- ‘Darcy did not want to fan the flames of her anger.’
- ‘Hopelessly naive, Velma quickly learns to play the game, concocting ever more elaborate lies to fan the flames of her notoriety.’
- ‘Their annoyance at an apparent inconvenience, more than anything, was what fanned the flames of a cause célèbre.’
- ‘Brown can never, ever, resist fanning the flames of controversy.’
- ‘Indeed, her words seem to have fanned the flames.’
- ‘Worryingly last week, researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University were in danger of fanning the flames.’
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