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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

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


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


References in periodicals archive ?
In the rotary engine, the intake and combustion processes occur in separate parts of the engine, creating a more suitable environment for proper hydrogen combustion and eliminating the backfiring problems caused by the hot exhaust valves.
We looked into the possibility of a match being struck, a car backfiring and a weed-whacker causing a spark, but eliminated all of them,'' said Sgt.
Birsner, who has accused some hospital officials of trying to force him off the board, said the legal opinion they requested has ended up backfiring on them.