miss fire

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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 ?
Again the Castor and Pollux of the wilderness sallied forth, and again their flint guns were at fault, and missed fire, and nothing went off but the buffalo.
A fire was made under an immense cotton-wood tree, that overshadowed a beautiful piece of meadow land; rich morsels of buffalo hump were soon roasting before it; in a hearty and prolonged repast, the two unsuccessful hunters gradually recovered from their mortification; threatened to discard their old flint guns as soon as they should reach the settlements, and boasted more than ever of the wonderful shots they had made, when they had guns that never missed fire.
But after he got up half way about three times, and missed fire and fell every time, and the last time most busted his brains out, he thought he'd got to give it up; but after he was rested he allowed he would give her one more turn for luck, and this time he made the trip.
Abdul's knife found the vitals of the second in the instant that the fellow's revolver missed fire as he held it to the faithful Arab's forehead.
The Adjutant had done his very best to describe his feelings after swallowing a seven-pound lump of Wenham Lake ice, off an American ice-ship, in the days before Calcutta made her ice by machinery; but as he did not know what ice was, and as the Mugger and the Jackal knew rather less, the tale missed fire.
This could potentially be a very large retrofit cost if done incorrectly and not caught until the building is ready to open--it is not as simple as adding a few missed fire dampers--so make sure this is designed correctly from the outset.
The rifle missed fire but twice in the 1800 rounds, and, whether discharged by officer or man, eighty-six per cent were 'hits.'"