[ en-fuh-leyd, -lahd, en-fuh-leyd, -lahd ]
/ ˈɛn fəˌleɪd, -ˌlɑd, ˌɛn fəˈleɪd, -ˈlɑd /


  1. 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.
  2. the fire thus directed.
  1. an axial arrangement of doorways connecting a suite of rooms with a vista down the whole length of the suite.
  2. 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.

Military. to attack with an enfilade.

Nearby words

  1. enfeoff,
  2. enfetter,
  3. enfever,
  4. enfield,
  5. enfield rifle,
  6. enfin,
  7. enflame,
  8. enfleurage,
  9. enflurane,
  10. enfold

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

Related formsun·en·fi·lad·ed, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for enfilade

British Dictionary definitions for enfilade


/ (ˌɛnfɪˈleɪd) military /


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

verb (tr)

to subject (a position or formation) to fire from a flank
to position (troops or guns) so as to be able to fire at a flank

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for enfilade



1706, from French enfilade, from Old French enfiler (13c.) "to thread (a needle) on a string, pierce from end to end," from en- "put on" (see en- (1)) + fil "thread" (see file (v.)).

Used of rows of apartments and lines of trees before modern military sense came to predominate. As a verb from 1706. Related: Enfiladed; enfilading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper