backfire

[ bak-fahyuhr ]
/ ˈbækˌfaɪər /

verb (used without object), back·fired, back·fir·ing.

(of an internal-combustion engine) to have a loud, premature explosion in the intake manifold.
to bring a result opposite to that which was planned or expected: The plot backfired.
to start a fire deliberately in order to check a forest or prairie fire by creating a barren area in advance of it.

noun

(in an internal-combustion engine) premature ignition of fuel in the intake manifold.
an explosion coming out of the breech of a firearm.
a fire started intentionally to check the advance of a forest or prairie fire.

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Origin of backfire

An Americanism dating back to 1775–85; back2 + fire
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for backfire

British Dictionary definitions for backfire

backfire
/ (ˌbækˈfaɪə) /

verb (intr)

(of an internal-combustion engine) to emit a loud noise as a result of an explosion in the inlet manifold or exhaust system
(of an endeavour, plan, etc) to have an unwanted effect on its perpetratorhis plans backfired on him
to start a controlled fire in order to halt an advancing forest or prairie fire by creating a barren area

noun

(in an internal-combustion engine)
  1. an explosion of unburnt gases in the exhaust system
  2. a premature explosion in a cylinder or inlet manifold
a controlled fire started to create a barren area that will halt an advancing forest or prairie fire
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012