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backfire on

To not proceed as one had planned or hoped. My plan to convince my parents that I'm responsible enough to have a car promptly backfired on me when I came home after curfew. The invading army's strategy completely backfired on them because they failed to account for the icy mountain terrain.
See also: backfire, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

backfire on someone

Fig. [for something, such as a plot] to fail unexpectedly; to fail with an undesired result. Your plot backfired on you. I was afraid that my scheme would backfire on me.
See also: backfire, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


in. to release intestinal gas anally and audibly. (Usually objectionable.) Whew! Somebody backfired!

backfire (on someone)

in. [for a scheme meant to cause harm to someone or something] to harm the person who runs the scheme. I hope this plan doesn’t backfire on me.
See also: backfire, on, someone


McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Four Russian military planes including two Backfire bombers entered Japanese airspace near Hokkaido, northern Japan, twice Wednesday, the Japanese Defense Agency announced.
That's not to say, however, that the captains of industry shouldn't be involved in the PR process and share responsibility when well-thought-out and well-intentioned PR backfires. Save the brickbats for the truly witless and winless.
Solon cages her mother as bait, knowing that Ettarde will not be able to resist rescuing her, but his plan backfires when Ettarde frees her with the assistance of the outlaw band and instead captures Solon....
The car journey turns into a nightmare when the lads play a practical joke on a lonely trucker, which backfires horribly.
I AM concerned to note an item headlined "Army joke backfires" in Kevan Furbank's column last Friday (Northern Ireland edition).
New York's annual Outsider Art Fair, a recent effort to attract collectors and consolidate the value both of particular artists and the whole category, seems to have established itself; on the other hand, the New Museum of Contemporary Art's current show, "A Labor of Love," sets out to challenge "traditional definitions of fine art, folk art, outsider art, and craft" through a tactic of curatorial assemblage - a tactic of resemblance that sometimes backfires, fixing boundaries it seeks to erase.
but the plan backfires when Ettarde frees her with the assistance of the outlaw band and instead captures Solon.
This subterfuge eventually backfires, of course, and dating Mike turns out to be less than idyllic.