backfire vs blowback what difference

what is difference between backfire and blowback



From back + fire.


  • (verb) IPA(key): /bækˈfaɪə(ɹ)/, /ˈbækfaɪə(ɹ)/
  • (noun) IPA(key): /ˈbækfaɪə(ɹ)/


backfire (third-person singular simple present backfires, present participle backfiring, simple past and past participle backfired)

  1. (of a gun, cannon, Bunsen burner, etc.) To fire in the opposite direction, for example due to an obstruction in the barrel.
  2. (of an engine) To experience a premature ignition of fuel or an ignition of exhaust gases, making a popping sound.
  3. To fail in a manner that brings down further misfortune.



backfire (plural backfires)

  1. (firefighting) Alternative spelling of back fire
  2. A premature explosion in the cylinder of a gas or oil engine during the exhaust or the compression stroke, tending to drive the piston in the wrong direction.
  3. An explosion in the exhaust passages of an internal combustion engine.
  4. An explosion in other equipment.


  • (premature explosion in engine cylinder): knock, ping

Derived terms

  • backfire effect


  • fireback



blow +‎ back



blowback (countable and uncountable, plural blowbacks)

  1. (firearms) A type of action where the pressure from the fired cartridge blows a sliding mechanism backward to extract the fired cartridge, chamber another cartridge, and cock the hammer.
  2. An unintended adverse result, especially of a political action.
    Synonym: fallout
  3. (slang) The act of shotgunning (inhaling from a pipe etc. and exhaling into another smoker’s mouth).
  4. On a steam locomotive, the reversal of exhaust gases when the regulator is closed without using the blower; see Blowback (steam engine).
  5. (computing) Synonym of backscatter.


  • (unintended adverse result): fallout

Related terms

  • (firearm action): blow forward


  • blowback on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
  • “blowback”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

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