American English

Definition of backfire verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they backfire
    he / she / it backfires
    past simple backfired
    -ing form backfiring
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  1. 1[intransitive] backfire (on somebody) to have the opposite effect to the one intended, with bad or dangerous results Unfortunately the plan backfired.
  2. 2[intransitive] (of an engine or a vehicle) to make a sudden noise like an explosion compare misfire
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: backfire