[ verb mis-fiuhr; noun mis-fahyuhr ]
See synonyms for misfire on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object),mis·fired, mis·fir·ing.
  1. (of a rifle or gun or of a bullet or shell) to fail to fire or explode.

  2. (of an internal-combustion engine) to fail to ignite properly or when expected.

  1. to fail to achieve the desired result, effect, etc.: His criticisms completely misfired.

  1. an act or instance of misfiring.

Origin of misfire

First recorded in 1745–55; mis-1 + fire

Words Nearby misfire

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use misfire in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for misfire


/ (ˌmɪsˈfaɪə) /

  1. (of a firearm or its projectile) to fail to fire, explode, or ignite as or when expected

  2. (of a motor engine or vehicle, etc) to fail to fire at the appropriate time, often causing a backfire

  1. to fail to operate or occur as intended

  1. the act or an instance of misfiring

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