Definition of enfilade in English:



  • 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’.