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Either a univerbation of earlier miss fire, or the compound mis- +‎ fire (or possibly a confluence of both).


  • (noun) IPA(key): /ˈmɪs.faɪ(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • (verb) IPA(key): /mɪsˈfaɪ(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • (General American) (noun and verb) IPA(key): /ˈmɪs.faɪ.ɚ/
  • Rhymes: -aɪə(ɹ)


misfire (plural misfires)

  1. An act of misfiring.
  2. (figurative) A failure.
    • 2023 March 15, Brian X. Chen, Nico Grant, Karen Weise, “How Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant Lost the A.I. Race”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      Amazon’s misfires with Alexa may have led Google astray, said a former manager who worked on Google Assistant.



misfire (third-person singular simple present misfires, present participle misfiring, simple past and past participle misfired)

  1. (firearms) To fail to discharge properly.
  2. (of an engine) To fail to ignite in the proper sequence.
  3. (of a nerve or neuron) To initiate an action potential without the proper stimulus.
  4. (by extension) To fail to achieve the anticipated result.
    His practical joke misfired and he nearly burnt my left hand.


See also[edit]