- a tortilla rolled and filled with a seasoned mixture, usually containing meat, and covered with a sauce flavored with chili.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- 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
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
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.