backfire Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “backfire” in the English Dictionary

"backfire" in British English

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backfireverb [I]

uk   /ˌbækˈfaɪər/  us   /-ˈfaɪr/
  • backfire verb [I] (ENGINE)

(of an ​engine) to make a ​loudnoise as a ​result of ​fuelburning too early: I was ​woken by the ​sound of a ​truck backfiring.
(Definition of backfire from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"backfire" in American English

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backfireverb [I]

 us   /ˈbækˌfɑɪər/
  • backfire verb [I] (HAVE BAD RESULT)

(of a ​plan) to have the ​oppositeresult from the one you ​intended: Some ​hotel owners ​worry that the ​idea of ​attracting more visitors may backfire and make the ​place less ​attractive.
  • backfire verb [I] (MAKE NOISE)

(of an ​engine) to make a ​loudnoise because the ​fuelburned too ​soon
(Definition of backfire from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“backfire” in British English

“backfire” in American English

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