en·​fi·​lade | \ ˈen-fə-ˌlād How to pronounce enfilade (audio) , -ˌläd \

Definition of enfilade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an interconnected group of rooms arranged usually in a row with each room opening into the next
2 : gunfire directed from a flanking position along the length of an enemy battle line


enfiladed; enfilading

Definition of enfilade (Entry 2 of 2)

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: Noun The invaders were better armed, and laid down an enfilade of cannon fire. The Economist, "Reconstruction reshaped America along lines contested today," 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, "Peter Marino’s Southampton Retreat Puts His Passion for French Porcelain on Full Display," 11 Sep. 2019 The layout on the right side of the house perfectly illustrates enfilade. Marni Elyse Katz, BostonGlobe.com, "Floor plan improvements and stylish furnishings transform a Brookline home," 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, "Transforming a Traditional Tudor into a Youthful Family Home," 15 Jan. 2014 But when Luisa first set eyes on it, she was smitten by its unrivaled setting, with views over rolling hills to the distant sea, and by the pomegranate-ripe potential of its echoing, spacious enfilades of rooms and extensive outbuildings. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Bella Sicilia: Hamish Bowles Attends Lucilla Bonaccorsi’s Breathtaking Wedding in Southern Italy," 7 Sep. 2017 Even better, Ramos’ ruling—along with the enfilade of similar decisions pouring out of the federal judiciary—raises the very real possibility that Texas may unintentionally bring the Voting Rights Act back from the dead. Mark Joseph Stern, Slate Magazine, "Consequences in Texas," 25 Aug. 2017 Forming an enfilade with the foyer are two small offices that double as guest rooms. Jim Gauer, ELLE Decor, "Design Solutions: Minimal Chic," 21 Aug. 2010 On the main floor, the rooms flow into one another through a series of enfilade doorways, but upstairs, the bedrooms are connected by hallways. Roxana Popescu, New York Times, "House Hunting in … Brittany," 19 July 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bodies were disfigured by thundering artillery bombardments and the scythe-like enfilade fire from machine guns. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Bloody Hell of Okinawa," 22 June 2020 At regimental headquarters, the general received reports of bad sniping and enfilading machine gun fire from the forward units. Washington Post, "AP WAS THERE: 75 years ago, reporter lands on Attu Island," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enfilade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of enfilade


circa 1730, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1706, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for enfilade


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

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The first known use of enfilade was in 1706

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Cite this Entry

“Enfilade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enfilade. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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