(noun, verb)


1. the backward escape of gases and unburned gunpowder after a gun is fired

Similar word(s): blowback

Definition categories: event, blowup, detonation, explosion

2. a loud noise made by the explosion of fuel in the manifold or exhaust of an internal combustion engine

Definition categories: event, blowup, detonation, explosion

3. a fire that is set intentionally in order to slow an approaching forest fire or grassfire by clearing a burned area in its path

Definition categories: event, fire

4. a miscalculation that recoils on its maker

Similar word(s): boomerang

Definition categories: act, miscalculation, misestimation, misreckoning


1. come back to the originator of an action with an undesired effect

- Your comments may backfire and cause you a lot of trouble

- the political movie backlashed on the Democrats

Similar word(s): backlash, recoil

Definition categories: social, hap, happen, occur, pass

2. emit a loud noise as a result of undergoing a backfire

- My old car backfires all the time

Definition categories: perception, noise, resound

3. set a controlled fire to halt an advancing forest to prairie fire

Definition categories: change, burn, fire

Sentences with backfire as a verb:

- His attempt to make money by importing luxury cars backfired horribly when fuel prices tripled.