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en·​fi·​lade ˈen-fə-ˌlād How to pronounce enfilade (audio)
: an interconnected group of rooms arranged usually in a row with each room opening into the next
: gunfire directed from a flanking position along the length of an enemy battle line


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enfiladed; enfilading

transitive verb

: to rake or be in a position to rake with gunfire in a lengthwise direction

Examples of enfilade in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The beautiful enfilade rooms, those formal dining rooms and libraries and galleries, are lovely, but the lavish dinner parties and at-home entertaining that were so central to uptown social life have largely gone dormant. Curbed, 8 Nov. 2022 From there, the space unfolds in an enfilade of narrow rooms. Laura May Todd Yvan Moreau, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2022 Rooms in different wings were linked by an enfilade that allowed the Georgian house and the Edwardian extension to communicate for the first time. Joshua Levine, WSJ, 18 Aug. 2022 Grand but respectful gestures were in order to open up the space and still maintain the enfilade of rooms that all overlooked the park. Wendy Goodman, Curbed, 15 Nov. 2021 The invaders were better armed, and laid down an enfilade of cannon fire. The Economist, 19 Dec. 2020 At center stage are hundreds of pieces of porcelain by Théodore Deck, a 19th-century French ceramist, piled on tables and lined up row after row in the main floor’s enfilade of rooms. Whitney Robinson, ELLE Decor, 11 Sep. 2019 The layout on the right side of the house perfectly illustrates enfilade. Marni Elyse Katz, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Sep. 2019 The palette also had to be harmonious because the library, dining room, living room, and sunroom open onto one another, like an enfilade. Jen Renzi, House Beautiful, 15 Jan. 2014
Bodies were disfigured by thundering artillery bombardments and the scythe-like enfilade fire from machine guns. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 June 2020 At regimental headquarters, the general received reports of bad sniping and enfilading machine gun fire from the forward units. Washington Post, 29 May 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'enfilade.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



French, from enfiler to thread, enfilade, from Old French, to thread, from en- + fil thread — more at file

First Known Use


circa 1730, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1706, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of enfilade was in 1706

Dictionary Entries Near enfilade

Cite this Entry

“Enfilade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enfilade. Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

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