Enfilade en


Enfilade meaning

Enfilade and defilade are concepts in military tactics used to describe a military formation's exposure to enemy fire. A formation or position is "in enfilade" if weapons fire can be directed along its longest axis. A unit or position is "in defilade" if it uses natural or artificial obstacles to shield or conceal itself from enfilade. The strategies invented by the English use the French enfiler ("to put on a string or sling") and défiler ("to slip away or off") which the English nobility used at that time. Enfilade fire, a gunfire directed against an enfiladed formation or position, is also commonly known as "flanking fire".


  1. (v. t.) To pierce, scour, or rake with shot in the direction of the length of, as a work, or a line of troops.
  2. (noun) A line or straight passage, or the position of that which lies in a straight line.
  3. (noun) A firing in the direction of the length of a trench, or a line of parapet or troops, etc.; a raking fire.
Word: en·fi·lade
Pronunciation of enfilade: 'en-f&-"lAd, -"läd
Function of enfilade: noun
Origin of enfilade: French, from enfiler to thread, enfilade, from Old French, to thread, from en- fil thread -- more at FILE
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