AskDefine | Define backfire

Dictionary Definition



1 a loud noise made by the explosion of fuel in the manifold or exhaust of an internal combustion engine
2 a miscalculation that recoils on its maker [syn: boomerang]


1 have an unexpected and undesired effect; "Your comments may backfire and cause you a lot of trouble" [syn: backlash]
2 emit a loud noise as a result of undergoing a backfire; "My old car backfires all the time"
3 set a controlled fire to halt an advancing forest to prairie fire

User Contributed Dictionary



From back + fire.


  1. (of a gun or cannon) to fire in the opposite direction, for example due to an obstruction in the barrel
  2. to fail in a manner that brings down further misfortune.
    His attempt to make money by importing luxury cars horribly backfired when fuel prices tripled.


  1. alternative spelling of back fire

Extensive Definition

Backfire may refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

backlash, backlashing, balefire, bang, beacon, beacon fire, blast, blaze, blow out, blow up, blowout, blowup, bonfire, boom, boomerang, bounce, bounce back, bound, bound back, burning ghat, burst, bust, campfire, cannon, cannon off, carom, cheerful fire, combustion, come to grief, comeback, conflagration, contrecoup, corposant, counterattack, counterblast, counterblow, counterfire, counterinsurgency, countermeasure, counterrevolution, counterstep, counterstroke, cozy fire, crackling fire, crematory, death fire, defense, detonate, detonation, discharge, explode, explosion, fall through, fen fire, fire, fizzle, flame, flare, flash, flashing point, flicker, flickering flame, fly back, forest fire, fox fire, fulguration, fulminate, fulmination, funeral pyre, go off, have repercussions, ignis fatuus, ignition, ingle, kick, kick back, kickback, lambent flame, lash back, lay an egg, let off, marshfire, miscarry, miss, open fire, prairie fire, pyre, raging fire, rebound, rebuff, recalcitrate, recalcitration, recoil, repercuss, repercussion, report, repulse, resile, resilience, retort, ricochet, sea of flames, set off, sheet of fire, shoot, signal beacon, smudge fire, snap back, spring, spring back, three-alarm fire, touch off, two-alarm fire, watch fire, wildfire, witch fire
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1