English

Definition of backfire verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    backfire

     verb
    verb
    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
     
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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 See related entries: Motoring problems and accidents
  3. compare misfire
    Extra 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.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: backfire