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Definition of "blowback" []

  • The backpressure in an internal-combustion engine or a boiler. (noun)
  • Powder residue that is released upon automatic ejection of a spent cartridge or shell from a firearm. (noun)
  • 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. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "blowback" in a sentence
  • "In much of the intelligence community, the term blowback is used to describe the unintended consequences that, often after providing support, assistance or aid, develop against ones intended goal or overall interests."
  • "You know, Tony Blair is been -- the former Prime Minister Tony Blair who just stepped down this week, was very clear in speaking about what he called blowback, blowback meaning that Britain becomes much more of a significant target because of everything that goes on in Iraq and because of the fact that they're involved in Iraq."
  • "If the late Chalmers Johnson, who made the word "blowback" part of our everyday language, happens to be looking down on American policy from some niche in heaven, he must be grimly amused by the brain-dead way our top officials blithely continue to try to bulldoze the Pakistanis."