Definition of misfire in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌmisˈfī(ə)r/
[no object]
1(Of a gun or missile) fail to discharge or fire properly.
Example sentences
  • In Saudi Arabia, it appeared the missiles misfired.
  • The gun misfires twice and the man is apprehended.
  • A dirty gun may misfire or malfunction at exactly the wrong time.
1.1(Of an internal combustion engine) undergo failure of the fuel to ignite correctly or at all: the car would misfire occasionally from the cold
More example sentences
  • It did little other than cause the car to misfire as the temperature decrease seemed to crystallize the fuel.
  • He said there might have been a bit of water in the fuel causing my engine to misfire when I started the car.
  • The last 50 km we nearly ran out of fuel and the engine was misfiring.
1.2(Especially of a plan) fail to produce the intended result: the killer didn’t know that his plan had misfired
More example sentences
  • My joy, such as it is, lies in the satisfaction that a carefully thought out plan has wonderfully misfired.
  • As of August, 2003, revenue was down 25% as expansion plans badly misfired.
  • Her plans misfired, she was captured by Henry, and until his death in 1189 was kept in close confinement, carefully watched, in England.
go wrong, go awry, be unsuccessful, fail, founder, fall through, fall flat;
informal flop, go up in smoke
1.3(Of a nerve cell) fail to transmit an electrical impulse at an appropriate moment.
Example sentences
  • What happens in the disease is that the neurons or the brain cells are misfiring and not communicating well.
  • The actual cause is a mystery, but new brain-scanning techniques suggest that migraines happen because brain cells misfire then shut down, causing the arteries on that side of the brain to contract rapidly and cause pain.
  • Gambling also causes misfiring of the AAR pathway.


Pronunciation: /ˈmisˌfī(ə)r/
A failure of a gun or missile to fire correctly or of fuel in an internal combustion engine to ignite.
Example sentences
  • I might add that in my lot of 1936 era ammunition, most of the primers have gone bad so be careful if your experience a misfire or hang fire when using old military stores.
  • He must have had a misfire or failure to chamber a round because as he pressed the trigger, he shoved the rifle violently down, yanked his face away from the stock, and actually stumbled forward half a step.
  • Soldiers must know how to load, fire, clear and reduce stoppages and misfires on every crew-served weapon.

Words that rhyme with misfire

acquire, admire, afire, applier, aspire, attire, ayah, backfire, barbwire, bemire, briar, buyer, byre, choir, conspire, crier, cryer, defier, denier, desire, dire, drier, dryer, dyer, enquire, entire, esquire, expire, fire, flyer, friar, fryer, Gaia, gyre, hellfire, hire, hiya, ire, Isaiah, jambalaya, Jeremiah, Josiah, Kintyre, latria, liar, lyre, Maia, Maya, Mayer, messiah, mire, Nehemiah, Obadiah, papaya, pariah, peripeteia, perspire, playa, Praia, prior, pyre, quire, replier, scryer, shire, shyer, sire, skyer, Sophia, spire, squire, supplier, Surabaya, suspire, tier, tire, transpire, trier, tumble-dryer, tyre, Uriah, via, wire, Zechariah, Zedekiah, Zephaniah

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mis·fire

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