Meaning of enfilade in English:


Pronunciation /ˌɛnfɪˈleɪd/

See synonyms for enfilade on


  • 1A volley of gunfire directed along a line from end to end.

    • ‘they were mown down by an enfilade of artillery’
  • 2A suite of rooms with doorways in line with each other.

    ‘The following year, after Waterloo, work began on the improvements planned by Samuel Ware, who renovated and amended the great enfilade of Palladian reception rooms.’
    • ‘Nineteen exhibition spaces are arranged as an enfilade of rooms that define an L-shaped route through the building, with its Italian marble columns and high ceilings.’
    • ‘There is a wonderful flow of space and light, with enfilades leading the eye through double doors and wafting curtains to the azure sea.’
    • ‘Bellini has also introduced heavy and disturbing portals between galleries, that distract attention in views of the enfilade.’
    • ‘When fully open, there is a wonderful journey from the grand first gallery to the cross-axial connection to galleries two and three, and then on to the stepped enfilade of galleries three, four and five.’
    • ‘Sullivan lifted the second story of his house onto piers holding it over the enfilade of the first floor and its high brick basement.’
    • ‘Architecturally, the original house had a very strong enfilade, which he extended with a new dining area and courtyard, treated here as an outdoor room.’
    • ‘Routes through the galleries are arranged to encourage wandering, with some openings arranged enfilade, but with occasional departures from axiality.’


[with object]
  • Direct a volley of gunfire along the length of (a target)

    ‘a sweeping crossfire enfiladed our riflemen’
    • ‘Knox gave the order, and the cannons blasted their deadly shot, enfilading the Germans and ripping apart the patrols.’
    • ‘We demolished an enemy gun protected by a casemate which was enfilading our trenches.’
    • ‘Immediately upon taking up the position, the battery opened upon the enemy, who was engaging the First Division, completely enfilading the enemy's lines with marked effect.’
    • ‘Despite intense artillery fire, he held the captured position for 48 hours, and with a leader personally silenced the enemy machine guns which were enfilading the troops advancing to his support.’
    bombard, pelt, shower, rain down on, attack, assail, batter, fire a broadside at, strafe, rake, sweep, enfilade, blitz, hit


Early 18th century (denoting the position of a military post commanding the length of a line): from French, from enfiler ‘thread on a string, pierce from end to end’, from en- ‘in, on’ + fil ‘thread’.