- (of a gun, cannon, Bunsen burner, etc.) To fire in the opposite direction, for example due to an obstruction in the barrel.
- (of an 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.
- His attempt to make money by importing luxury cars backfired horribly when fuel prices tripled.
backfire (plural backfires)
- (firefighting) Alternative spelling of
- 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.