Pronunciation: (bak'fīur"), [key]
—v., -fired, -fir•ing,
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.
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.