Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
the unforeseen negative consequences of an action or decision
Origin: blow + back (): in older sense of an explosion, expulsion of gas, etc., as from a damaged gun or backfiring engine
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- The backpressure in an internal-combustion engine or a boiler.
- Powder residue that is released upon automatic ejection of a spent cartridge or shell from a firearm.
- The effect caused by recirculation into the source country of disinformation previously planted abroad by that country's intelligence service in an effort to mislead the government of another country.