[ 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.

Idioms for enchilada

    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

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.