Definition of backfire in English:

backfire

verb

[NO OBJECT]
Pronunciation: /bakˈfʌɪə/
  • 1(of a vehicle or its engine) undergo a mistimed explosion in the cylinder or exhaust:

    ‘a car backfired in the road and shoppers ducked instinctively’
    • ‘Deafening car stereos, honking horns and noises like gun shots ring out as hundreds of drivers deliberately make their car engines backfire.’
    • ‘Dave continued to tighten his screw till abruptly the engine choked, backfired and died.’
    • ‘A car backfired somewhere, the CD now flew upwards at a fresh angle and speed.’
    • ‘It was far too loud to be attributed to a car engine backfiring, and immediately drew the clientele to rush like moths against the window.’
    • ‘He goes on holiday to the beach in an odd little car that is constantly backfiring, and we follow him as he interacts with the other vacationers at a seaside hotel.’
    • ‘With a sudden flash and the crack of a car backfiring, the machine surged to life again, its high-pitched shriek more earsplitting than ever.’
    • ‘The supersonic jet was hit by an engine surge - like a car backfiring - then diverted to Cardiff airport en route to Heathrow, a spokesman said.’
    • ‘We hear stories of war veterans hitting the ground when they hear a car backfiring.’
    • ‘They ran into trouble in the centre of the city when the bus began backfiring.’
    • ‘‘Now, I get very panicky at the sound of a loud explosion caused by a tire blowout or the sound of a car backfiring in the parking lot,’ he said jokingly.’
    • ‘‘It just sounded like a car backfiring,’ she said, ‘it sounded like a gunshot.’’
    • ‘When a backboard shatters, it sounds sort of similar to a gunshot or a car backfiring.’
    • ‘The engine coughed, backfired, and a small explosion sent the transport's occupants flying.’
    • ‘The car engine backfired in three sudden bursts as they drove off.’
    • ‘When my father turned around to go back in the house, we heard a loud noise like a car backfiring.’
    • ‘My mother could distinguish gunshots from a firecracker or a car backfiring.’
    • ‘The operation of the rotary engine means that it is not prone to backfiring on hydrogen, as conventional piston engines are.’
    • ‘Few problems were encountered until two of the engines started backfiring and within two minutes had quit.’
    • ‘Since the ships were used to being heated up, a sudden blast of hot air on a cold engine could backfire the engine or even destroy vital components.’
    • ‘If I got it wrong (not too often, thankfully) the motor would backfire and try to kick me over the handlebars.’
  • 2(of a plan or action) have an opposite and undesirable effect to what was intended:

    ‘overzealous publicity backfired on her’
    • ‘Jenni is obviously jealous, and it looks like her plan has backfired.’
    • ‘Their plan backfired, and soon the fire grew out of control and they fled in panic.’
    • ‘But that strategy will backfire, because nobody will take the Council's recommendations seriously.’
    • ‘I stayed quiet thinking that maybe she would think that she had just been hearing things but my plan backfired.’
    • ‘To my glee, Anthony didn't enjoy it much either, so his plan backfired.’
    • ‘Gloria knew her plan had backfired and that she would have to come up with something better next time.’
    • ‘However, his plan backfired and he was hung for treason in 1606.’
    • ‘Rork had already risked so much and his plans kept backfiring.’
    • ‘These plans have backfired, however, leading to growing criticism of the sanctions policy.’
    • ‘Nothing can serious happen to them, as they are locked in their battle, and the worst thing that can happen is their plan backfiring.’
    • ‘They said the plan backfired when four times as many workers joined the unions than had left.’
    • ‘I have to say, if the idea was to persuade any of us that her followers are sane and rational people, the plan backfired in spectacular fashion.’
    • ‘Never before has a devious little plan backfired so badly.’
    • ‘This comes with the warning that this plan can backfire spectacularly.’
    • ‘However, his plan backfired as no one took him up on his offer.’
    • ‘Down the road, this policy could backfire badly on the US and on the caretaker government.’
    • ‘Yeah, I love how Cale's plans keep backfiring on him.’
    • ‘His scheme had backfired however, because he failed to check that I had any money in the first place.’
    • ‘However, the wait-and-see policy could backfire if those players manage to secure contracts elsewhere in the meantime.’
    • ‘Due to the uprising the plan has backfired on an epic scale.’
    rebound, boomerang, come back, have an adverse effect
    View synonyms

noun

Pronunciation: /ˈbakfʌɪə/
  • 1A mistimed explosion in the cylinder or exhaust of a vehicle or engine:

    ‘once the engine is running smoothly, a backfire can be dramatic’
    • ‘I handled that okay, but it just so happened that a farmer was running a tractor nearby and managed to produce a loud backfire just as we reached the stream.’
    • ‘‘It sounded like a backfire - and then somebody hooted and shouted to me to hop out of the vehicle as it was on fire,’ she said.’
    • ‘My favourites are still the RX7 rotaries, which give magnificent flameouts and backfires from the exhaust when the drivers lift their foot off the accelerator.’
    • ‘A slight backfire on starting could burn the engine off the wing!’
    • ‘My legs were JeIl-O when I walked away from them, and a passing car's backfire nearly stopped my heart.’
    • ‘On the battlefield, this engine produced a loud backfire when starting, instantly drawing enemy fire.’
    • ‘And I heard this - it was a shot, but it sounded like a backfire.’
    • ‘However, just a few days later the aircraft suffered serious damage following a fire started by an engine backfire.’
    • ‘As the landing gear was being retracted, he felt a slight hesitation and mild backfire with the left engine.’
  • 2North American A fire started deliberately to stop the progress of an approaching fire by creating a burned area in its path.

    • ‘The gusty wind prevented the air tanker drops of retardant, and use of backfires that are key tactics of fire containment.’
    • ‘For both fires, portions of the barrens sample area were burned by the backfire flame while other portions were burned by a more intense headfire.’
    • ‘Around Summerhaven, crews using hand torches, which drip flame to start backfires, and aided by air tankers succeeded on Sunday in keeping the fire away from dozens of surviving homes and an observatory.’
    • ‘Ironically it was a backfire, set to contain the prescribed burn, that was caught by unexpected wind gusts and roared out of control.’
    • ‘Fires were initially started as backfires to blacken areas adjacent to firelines.’
    • ‘Most flame weeders on the market are the same ones used by fire fighters to set backfires.’
    • ‘That's when we lit a backfire, which the raging combination fire drew toward itself automatically.’

Pronunciation:

backfire

Verb/bakˈfʌɪə/

backfire

Noun/ˈbakfʌɪə/