whole enchilada


[en-chuh-lah-duh, -lad-uh]
noun Mexican Cookery.
a tortilla rolled and filled with a seasoned mixture, usually containing meat, and covered with a sauce flavored with chili.
big/top enchilada, Slang. someone regarded as the most important, influential, or dominant person in an organization: The police are hoping to catch the syndicate's big enchilada in the next raid.
whole enchilada, Slang. the entirety of something, especially something impressive or outstanding: She has a job with money, prestige, and satisfaction—the whole enchilada.

1885–90; < American Spanish, feminine of Spanish enchilado spiced with chili (past participle of enchilar), equivalent to en- en-1 + chil(e) chili + -ado -ate1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
enchilada (ˌɛntʃɪˈlɑːdə)
a Mexican dish consisting of a tortilla fried in hot fat, filled with meat, and served with a chilli sauce
[C19: American Spanish, feminine of enchilado seasoned with chilli, from enchilar to spice with chilli, from chilechilli]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1887, Amer.Eng., from Mexican Sp. enchilada, fem. pp. of enchilar "season with chili," from en- "in" + chile "chili."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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