miss fire

(redirected from miss fires)

miss fire

1. obsolete Of a firearm, to fail to fire a shot. (Replaced in modern English by the word "misfire.") He had the better aim of the two, but his pistol missed fire, and he was killed in the duel.
2. obsolete By extension, to fail to do as expected or intended; to not achieve the intended or anticipated result. (Replaced in modern English by the word "misfire.") It is now clear that the government's social welfare experiment has greatly miss fired.
See also: fire, miss

miss fire

Fail to achieve the anticipated result, as in Recycling cardboard seemed like a good idea but it missed fire. First recorded in 1727, this phrase originally described a firearm failing to go off and has been used figuratively since the mid-1800s.
See also: fire, miss

miss fire

1. To fail to discharge. Used of a firearm.
2. To fail to achieve the anticipated result.
See also: fire, miss
References in classic literature ?
They laid the blame, however, entirely on their guns; two miserable old pieces with flint locks, which, with all their picking and hammering, were continually apt to miss fire. These great boasters of the wilderness, however, are very often exceeding bad shots, and fortunate it is for them when they have old flint guns to bear the blame.
The shot did not miss fire. The chuckle from the actor and the sigh of relief from Rutherford were almost simultaneous.