IPA: bˈækfaɪr


  • 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.
  • An explosion in the exhaust passages of an internal combustion engine.
  • An explosion in other equipment.
  • (firefighting) Alternative spelling of back fire [A small, controlled fire set in the path of a larger uncontrolled fire, in order to limit the spread of the large fire by removing its fuel.]


  • (of a gun, cannon, Bunsen burner, etc.) To fire in the opposite direction, for example due to an obstruction in the barrel.
  • (of a reciprocating engine) To experience a premature ignition of fuel or an ignition of exhaust gases, making a popping sound.
  • To fail in a manner that brings down further misfortune.

Examples of "backfire" in Sentences

  • It tends to backfire on the job.
  • It's likely to backfire, though.
  • All other tactics will backfire.
  • The ploy backfires and leads to divorce.
  • But don't exaggerate, it just backfires.
  • Commendations at arbitration tend to backfire.
  • They knew that aggressiveness toward the reader backfires.
  • The plan backfires and leads to the accidental death of Gerald.
  • However his plan backfires and he is shot with the revolver in the study.
  • But the plan backfires when Bill lets Lauren go to the mall with a shoplifter.

Related Links

syllables in backfiresynonyms for backfiredescribing words for backfireunscramble backfire



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