[ def-uh-leyd ]
/ ˌdɛf əˈleɪd /


protection or shielding from hostile ground observation and flat projecting fire provided by an artificial or natural obstacle, as a hill.

verb (used with object), def·i·lad·ed, def·i·lad·ing.

to shield from enemy fire by using natural or artificial obstacles.

Origin of defilade

1820–30; < French défil(er), orig. to unthread (equivalent to dé- dis-1 + (en)filer to thread ≪ Latin fīlum thread) + French -ade -ade1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defilade

British Dictionary definitions for defilade


/ (ˌdɛfɪˈleɪd) military /


protection provided by obstacles against enemy crossfire from the rear, or observation
the disposition of defensive fortifications to produce this protection

verb (tr)

to provide protection for by defilade

Word Origin for defilade

C19: see de-, enfilade
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

Word Origin and History for defilade



1828, from defile (n.) + -ade.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper