Definition of twist the knife in English:

twist the knife


(also twist the knife in the wound)
  • Deliberately make someone's sufferings worse.

    ‘However the mother of the murdered 15-year-old said the confession merely twisted the knife as Campbell still refused to say what he had done with her daughter's body.’
    • ‘If the illegality of their actions damaged Taylor's reputation, Levein twisted the knife by claiming that the chief executive acted ‘like a headmaster’ when the two met.’
    • ‘In Sri Lanka, which lost some 30,000 citizens, nature twisted the knife as torrential rains flooded refugee camps.’
    • ‘He had that fabulous Irish humour… when he wanted to turn the knife, baby, he was brutal and brilliant… and very cruel.’
    • ‘He has something to say and knows precisely how he wants to say it, offering a wealth of information of all sorts as he closes in on his prey and gaily twists the knife.’
    • ‘For nearly four years of my life you managed to be there tormenting me picking up on any weakness or difference and twisting the knife till it really did hurt.’
    • ‘But Saints Jason Hooper notched a hat-trick of his own, Sean Long scored a try and kicked seven goals and former Bull Lee Gilmour twisted the knife with a fantastic solo try.’
    • ‘He wonders now if he was trying to prolong his pain by allowing Sharon, after the break-up, multiple opportunities to twist the knife.’
    • ‘‘Con Gallagher is the father,’ she went on, brutally, turning the knife in the wound, watching the pain intensify.’