9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[v. mis-fiuh r; n. mis-fahyuh r] /v. mɪsˈfɪər; n. ˈmɪsˌfaɪər/
verb (used without object), misfired, misfiring.
(of a rifle or gun or of a bullet or shell) to fail to fire or explode.
(of an internal-combustion engine) to fail to ignite properly or when expected.
to fail to achieve the desired result, effect, etc.:
His criticisms completely misfired.
an act or instance of misfiring.
Origin of misfire
1745-55; mis-1 + fire Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for misfire
  • If one is killed by a bullet aimed or simply a misfire, dead is dead.
  • They allegedly caused people's guns to misfire when they were aimed at the charm-bearers.
  • More important, the political calculus could easily misfire.
  • Major decisions would be put off for weeks until suddenly she would erupt, driving her staff to panic and misfire.
  • Policy measures sometimes work more or less as expected, but often they misfire, or backfire.
  • Must have thrown the button pushers off enough for them to make the rocket misfire and explode.
  • Major decisions would be put off for weeks until suddenly she would erupt, driving her staff to panic and misfire.
  • misfire means the complete or partial failure of a blasting charge to explode as planned.
  • Transmission codes also can indicate problems with engine misfire.
  • Multipoint ignition via laser delivery offers potential for engine applications to further extend misfire and knock limits.
British Dictionary definitions for misfire


verb (intransitive)
(of a firearm or its projectile) to fail to fire, explode, or ignite as or when expected
(of a motor engine or vehicle, etc) to fail to fire at the appropriate time, often causing a backfire
to fail to operate or occur as intended
the act or an instance of misfiring
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for misfire

1752, of a gun, 1905, of an internal combustion engine; see mis- (1) + fire (v.). Related: Misfired; misfiring. The noun is attested from 1839.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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