backfire

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From back + fire.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /bækˈfaɪə(ɹ)/

Verb[edit]

backfire (third-person singular simple present backfires, present participle backfiring, simple past and past participle backfired)

  1. (of a gun, cannon, Bunsen burner, etc.) To fire in the opposite direction, for example due to an obstruction in the barrel.
  2. To fail in a manner that brings down further misfortune.
    His attempt to make money by importing luxury cars backfired horribly when fuel prices tripled.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

backfire (plural backfires)

  1. (firefighting) Alternative spelling of back fire
  2. A premature explosion in the cylinder of a gas or oil engine during the exhaust or the compression stroke, tending to drive the piston in the wrong direction.
  3. An explosion in the exhaust passages of an internal combustion engine.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (premature explosion in engine cylinder): knock, ping

Anagrams[edit]