mis·​fire | \ ˌmis-ˈfī(-ə)r How to pronounce misfire (audio) \
misfired; misfiring; misfires

Definition of misfire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to have the explosive or propulsive charge fail to ignite at the proper time the engine misfired
2 : to fail to fire the gun misfired
3 : to miss an intended effect or objective the new ad campaign misfired


mis·​fire | \ ˌmis-ˈfī(-ə)r How to pronounce misfire (audio) , ˈmis-ˌfī(-ə)r \

Definition of misfire (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a failure (as of a cartridge or firearm) to fire
2 : something that misfires

Synonyms for misfire

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of misfire in a Sentence

Verb their scheme to rob the bank misfired disastrously and landed them all in jail
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Houston created more scoring chances in the first half, only to misfire a few times. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 May 2022 One of the greatest putters in golf history continues to misfire from 8-15 feet and as a result, he's lost ground on the field midway through Sunday's final round. USA TODAY, 10 Apr. 2022 All that machinery can often misfire, elevating stories that don’t deserve such treatment. Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2022 And yet, the ads that misfire or even insult potential employees or customers are increasingly at risk of serving as an entry point to expose a company’s hypocrisy. Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2022 Torreys have won 17 straight and are 13-0 at home La Jolla Country Day, the No. 2 seed in the Open Division of the state regional playoffs, picked a really bad night to misfire from the free-throw line. San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Mar. 2022 Being successful in business has often meant understanding what’s been successful throughout its history, but this can misfire. Kimberly A. Whitler, Forbes, 29 Jan. 2022 Jackson drove them to the Cleveland 30-yard line only to misfire on another attempt to Andrews, this one settling into the arms of Browns safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, 29 Nov. 2021 But Gustavo Bou and Carles Gil missed open nets early, setting a tone as the Revolution continued to misfire to the end. BostonGlobe.com, 7 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the film was never able to recover — among Oscar voters — from being branded a box office misfire. New York Times, 26 Mar. 2022 That comes in the film’s opening scene, as the modest farmhouse that Irka shares her her husband Tolik (Sergey Shadrin) falls prey to a mortar misfire — decimating one exterior wall, and leaving the interior a wreckage site of dust and debris. Guy Lodge, Variety, 29 Jan. 2022 The researchers think this causes neurons in the insular cortex to misfire, reactivating an immunologic memory and triggering a misguided immune response. Raleigh Mcelvery, Scientific American, 8 Nov. 2021 Russia’s missile attack Sunday on a Ukrainian training facility, just miles from the border of NATO member Poland, illustrated the risk that a misfire in Ukraine could force NATO to react. Liz Sly And Emily Rauhala, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Mar. 2022 No ending with Best Picture (more on that grievous misfire in a bit). Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 26 Apr. 2021 With one more misfire, the window for these Titans and the Super Bowl just got smaller. Gentry Estes, USA TODAY, 23 Jan. 2022 That may be a welcome change for 49ers fans, who watched Garoppolo misfire on key throws in the team’s 3-point loss to the Titans last week. New York Times, 30 Dec. 2021 But Zhao's willingness to play ball apparently cost the film her considerable talents as well: Eternals is an uncharacteristically sloppy misfire. Jeva Lange, The Week, 5 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'misfire.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of misfire


1752, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1789, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of misfire was in 1752

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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Misfire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misfire. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of misfire for Spanish Speakers


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