• 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.
  • (firefighting) Alternative spelling of back fire
  • An explosion in the exhaust passages of an internal combustion engine.


  • 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."

  • (of a gun, cannon, Bunsen burner, etc.) To fire in the opposite direction, for example due to an obstruction in the barrel.

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