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hangfire

[hang-fahyuh r]
noun
  1. a delay in the detonation of gunpowder or other ammunition, caused by some defect in the fuze.
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Origin of hangfire

First recorded in 1890–95; hang + fire
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hangfire

Historical Examples

  • In the case of a misfire, don't open the bolt immediately, as it may be a hangfire.

    Manual for Noncommissioned Officers and Privates of Cavalry of the Army

    War Department.