[ en-fuh-leyd, -lahd, en-fuh-leyd, -lahd ]
See synonyms for: enfiladeenfiladedenfilading on Thesaurus.com

  1. Military.

    • a position of works, troops, etc., making them subject to a sweeping fire from along the length of a line of troops, a trench, a battery, etc.

    • the fire thus directed.

  2. Architecture.

    • an axial arrangement of doorways connecting a suite of rooms with a vista down the whole length of the suite.

    • an axial arrangement of mirrors on opposite sides of a room so as to give an effect of an infinitely long vista.

verb (used with object),en·fi·lad·ed, en·fi·lad·ing.
  1. Military. to attack with an enfilade.

Origin of enfilade

1695–1705; <French, equivalent to enfil(er) to thread, string (en-en-1 + -filer, derivative of fil<Latin fīlum thread) + -ade-ade1

Other words from enfilade

  • un·en·fi·lad·ed, adjective

Words Nearby enfilade

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use enfilade in a sentence

  • As that big oblong crowd of Turks showed their left flank to Baikie's nine batteries they were swept in enfilade by shrapnel.

  • If successful, it was to enfilade the Wylie kopjes from that position.

    Story of the War in South Africa | Captain A. T. Mahan, U.S.N.
  • In a gleam of sunshine, the variety of tints and lights thrown upon this enfilade, are uncommonly rich.

  • Meanwhile three Turkish brigs came to the rescue, and got into position so as to enfilade the beach.

    Byron | Richard Edgcumbe
  • They could thus, by firing eastwards from this redoubt, rake No Mans Land in direct enfilade.

British Dictionary definitions for enfilade


/ (ˌɛnfɪˈleɪd) military /

  1. a position or formation subject to fire from a flank along the length of its front

  1. to subject (a position or formation) to fire from a flank

  2. to position (troops or guns) so as to be able to fire at a flank

Origin of enfilade

C18: from French: suite, from enfiler to thread on string, from fil thread

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