[ en-chuh-lah-duh, -lad-uh ]
/ ˌɛn tʃəˈlɑ də, -ˈlæd ə /

noun Mexican Cookery.

a tortilla rolled and filled with a seasoned mixture, usually containing meat, and covered with a sauce flavored with chili.

Nearby words

  1. enchanting,
  2. enchantment,
  3. enchantress,
  4. enchase,
  5. enchaînement,
  6. enchiridion,
  7. enchondral,
  8. enchondroma,
  9. enchondromatosis,
  10. enchondrosarcoma


    big/top enchilada, Slang. someone regarded as the most important, influential, or dominant person in an organization: The police are hoping to catch the syndicate's big enchilada in the next raid.
    whole enchilada, Slang. the entirety of something, especially something impressive or outstanding: She has a job with money, prestige, and satisfaction—the whole enchilada.

Origin of enchilada

1885–90; < American Spanish, feminine of Spanish enchilado spiced with chili (past participle of enchilar), equivalent to en- en-1 + chil(e) chili + -ado -ate1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for enchilada


/ (ˌɛntʃɪˈlɑːdə) /


a Mexican dish consisting of a tortilla fried in hot fat, filled with meat, and served with a chilli sauce

Word Origin for enchilada

C19: American Spanish, feminine of enchilado seasoned with chilli, from enchilar to spice with chilli, from chile chilli

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 enchilada



1887, American English, from Mexican Spanish enchilada, fem. past participle of enchilar "season with chili," from en- "in" + chile "chili" (see chili).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with enchilada


see big cheese (enchilada); whole ball of wax (enchilada).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.