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English Wikipedia has an article on:
Enfilade of doorways in a former Cistercian friary, Előszállás, Hungary


Borrowed from French enfilade.



enfilade (plural enfilades)

  1. A line or straight passage, or the position of that which lies in a straight line.
    • 2015 January 4, Harry Mount, “Kings and queens – any other approach to history is boring [print version: Game of thrones, 3 January 2015, p. R22]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Review)[1]:
      In his Booker Prize-winning novel The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst wrote about people who know their world history as being able to look back through the millennia as an enfilade of rooms: Greece yields to Rome; Rome to the Byzantine Empire ... the Renaissance ... the British Empire ... America ... China. The same goes for people who can recite their kings and queens. British history clicks into a long enfilade of discrete, identifiable periods.
  2. Gunfire directed along the length of a target.
    • 1996, Guy Vanderhaeghe, The Englishman’s Boy, New York: Anchor, Chapter 27, p. 266,[2]
      In minutes they had gained the top, fell prone, and began to pour deadly repeater-fire into the enemy below while their compatriots raked the top of the coulee with an enfilade.
  3. (architecture) A series of doors that provide a vista when open.



enfilade (third-person singular simple present enfilades, present participle enfilading, simple past and past participle enfiladed)

  1. (transitive) To rake (something) with gunfire.
    • 1765, John Wright, The Compleat History of the Late War, London: David Steel, Volume 1, Chapter 7, p. 202,[3]
      A great quantity of artillery was placed upon the eminence, so as to batter and enfilade the left of their intrenchments.
    • 1803, Robert Charles Dallas, The History of the Maroons, London: Longman and Rees, Volume 1, Letter 3, p. 72,[4]
      As they scrambled up a narrow path they every where found holes dug to cover the defenders of the mountain, and sticks crossed for resting their guns, with which they enfiladed every angle, that from the steepness it was necessary to make in ascending.
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 30, in The Dust of Conflict[5]:
      It was by his order the shattered leading company flung itself into the houses when the Sin Verguenza were met by an enfilading volley as they reeled into the calle.
    • 2019 November 20, “Service honours railwaymen who fought and died in WW1”, in Rail, page 66:
      He killed the machine gun crew, and without further orders pushed on and enfiladed a ditch from which three officers and 160 men subsequently surrendered.
  2. (figuratively, transitive) To be directed toward (something) like enfilading gunfire.
    • 1886, Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Chapter 24,[6]
      Together they saw the market thicken, and in course of time thin away with the slow decline of the sun towards the upper end of town, its rays taking the street endways and enfilading the long thoroughfare from top to bottom.
    • 1921, Henry G. Aikman, Zell, London: Jonathan Cape, Part 1, Chapter 1, p. 15,[7]
      From her rocking chair in the parlour, Mrs. Zell’s scrutiny enfiladed the entire block.
  3. (architecture, transitive) To arrange (rooms or other structures) in a row.
    • 1920, Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence, Book 1, Chapter 3,[8]
      [] the house had been boldly planned with a ball-room, so that, instead of squeezing through a narrow passage to get to it (as at the Chiverses’) one marched solemnly down a vista of enfiladed drawing-rooms (the sea-green, the crimson and the bouton d’or), seeing from afar the many-candled lustres reflected in the polished parquetry []




French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr


  • IPA(key): /ɑ̃.fi.lad/
  • (file)


enfilade f (plural enfilades)

  1. row or series (of houses)
  2. (architecture) enfilade
  3. enfilade (gunfire)
  4. (chess) skewer

Further reading[edit]