- a delay in the detonation of gunpowder or other ammunition, caused by some defect in the fuze.
Origin of hangfire
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for hangfire
Historical Examples of hangfire
In the case of a misfire, don't open the bolt immediately, as it may be a hangfire.