- 1[intransitive] backfire (on somebody) to have the opposite effect to the one intended, with bad or dangerous results Unfortunately the plan backfired.
- 2[intransitive] (of an engine or a vehicle) to make a sudden noise like an explosion See related entries: Motoring problems and accidents compare misfireExtra examples The surprise I had planned backfired on me. They realized that their plan had backfired. He had to be rescued from the water when the stunt backfired disastrously.
BrE BrE//ˌbækˈfaɪə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˌbækˈfaɪər//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they backfire
BrE BrE//ˌbækˈfaɪə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˌbækˈfaɪər//he / she / it backfires
BrE BrE//ˌbækˈfaɪəz//; NAmE NAmE//ˌbækˈfaɪərz//past simple backfired
BrE BrE//ˌbækˈfaɪəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˌbækˈfaɪərd//past participle backfired
BrE BrE//ˌbækˈfaɪəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˌbækˈfaɪərd//-ing form backfiring
BrE BrE//ˌbækˈfaɪərɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˌbækˈfaɪərɪŋ//Motoring problems and accidents