Definition of backfire in English:
1(Of an engine) undergo a mistimed explosion in the cylinder or exhaust: a car backfired in the road
More example sentences
- 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.
- The car engine backfired in three sudden bursts as they drove off.
- Deafening car stereos, honking horns and noises like gun shots ring out as hundreds of drivers deliberately make their car engines backfire.
2(Of a plan or action) rebound adversely on the originator; have the opposite effect to what was intended: overzealous publicity backfired on her
More example sentences
- Due to the uprising the plan has backfired on an epic scale.
- Nothing can serious happen to them, as they are locked in their battle, and the worst thing that can happen is their plan backfiring.
- Never before has a devious little plan backfired so badly.
nounBack to top
1A mistimed explosion in the cylinder or exhaust of a vehicle or engine.
- 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.
- On the battlefield, this engine produced a loud backfire when starting, instantly drawing enemy fire.
- However, just a few days later the aircraft suffered serious damage following a fire started by an engine backfire.
2North American A fire set intentionally to arrest the progress of an approaching fire by creating a burned area in its path, thus depriving the fire of fuel.
- 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.
- 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.
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