Definition of defilade in US English:



  • The protection of a position, vehicle, or troops against enemy observation or gunfire.

    • ‘The inner cordon positions must set where they will be in defilade of the other inner cordon positions and the assault force in the event of a direct fire engagement.’
    • ‘It shares the disadvantage of most Soviet tanks in having limited ability to depress the main gun, thus not being capable of firing effectively from defilade and being forced to expose itself to engage targets.’
    • ‘Later, we backed into defilade long enough to reload our 90 mm ammunition, then reoccupied our position on the crest of the hill and resumed firing.’
    • ‘In fog, darkness, or defilade, other Germans will recognize this man as their own and not shoot at him.’


[with object]Military
  • Protect (a position, vehicle, or troops) against enemy observation or gunfire.

    ‘a defiladed tank’
    • ‘This road, which followed the course of the Reno River and was partially defiladed from the west over much of the distance, was the more protected of the two.’
    • ‘During a later assault, six enemy soldiers gained a defiladed spot and began to throw grenades into the perimeter making it untenable.’
    • ‘It was ideal for for engaging targets in ravines, reverse slope positions, and in other defiladed positions.’
    • ‘After returning to a defiladed position, he skillfully rescued and evacuated a wounded officer.’


Early 19th century: from French défiler ‘protect from the enemy’ + -ade.