verb (used without object), back·fired, back·fir·ing.
- backflap hinge,
Origin of backfire
Examples from the Web for backfire
Spreading a one-size-fits-all model for girls' education could backfire.Promoting Girls’ Education Isn’t Enough: Malala Can Do More|Paula Kweskin|December 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Gerald Ford and the swine flu pandemic that never happened in 1976 is a cautionary tale that government action can backfire.
Overall, taking steps to get pregnant quickly is more likely to pay off than it is to backfire.
And when that culture still holds onto sexist views of women, even attempts to rectify this imbalance can backfire.
Morrissey condemns William for hunting, and says he hopes his gun will 'backfire in his face'
A handful of men were still grouped around Curt, working until the last moment to spread the backfire as far as possible.Janet Hardy in Radio City|Ruthe S. Wheeler
Mr. Dilly was in the Woodruff District to build a backfire against this conflagration of the county superintendent.The Brown Mouse|Herbert Quick
The backfire had burned for many yards westward, to meet the threatening wave of flame flying on the wings of the wind.Frances of the Ranges|Amy Bell Marlowe
If you have to burn off the rubbish, do so in small spots at a time, then backfire toward the center.The Pony Rider Boys in New England|Frank Gee Patchin
I positively thought that the first shot was a backfire of a motorcycle.Warren Commission (3 of 26): Hearings Vol. III (of 15)|The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
- an explosion of unburnt gases in the exhaust system
- a premature explosion in a cylinder or inlet manifold
1839, American English, originally "a fire deliberately lit ahead of an advancing prairie fire to deprive it of fuel," from back (adj.) + fire (n.). As a verb in this sense, recorded from 1886. The meaning "premature ignition in an internal-combustion engine" is first recorded 1897. Of schemes, plans, etc., "to affect the initiator rather than the intended object" it is attested from 1912, a figurative use from the accidental back-firing of firearms.