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Meaning of backfire

back•fire

Pronunciation: (bak'fīr"), [key]
— v., n. -fired, -fir•ing,
—v.i.
  1. (of an internal-combustion engine) to have a loud, premature explosion in the intake manifold.
  2. to bring a result opposite to that which was planned or expected: The plot backfired.
  3. to start a fire deliberately in order to check a forest or prairie fire by creating a barren area in advance of it.
—n.
  1. (in an internal-combustion engine) premature ignition of fuel in the intake manifold.
  2. an explosion coming out of the breech of a firearm.
  3. a fire started intentionally to check the advance of a forest or prairie fire.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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