Nanofibrous interlayer toughening strategy for laminated composite materials typically demonstrated at quasi-static loading is here evaluated under high strain rate deformation. Carbon fiber reinforced composite laminates of (0/90)(25s) stacking sequence are interlayered by polystyrene-co-glycidyl methacrylate (P(St-co-GMA)) nanofibers which are chemically tuned for interfacial compatibility when embedded in epoxy matrix. The cubical composite specimens are cut and subjected to high strain-rate deformation via Split Hopkinson pressure bar testing. Specimens are hit at their through-the-thickness (stacking) and side-to-side (in-plane) directions. The change in the dissipation of energy due to altered interlaminar microstructure is monitored and reported. Enhancement in the capacity of the energy dissipation due to the nanofibrous interlayers is as high as 80% in-plane and 40% through thickness directions, depending on the strain rate. The results overall suggest that interlayer toughening strategy used in this work prevents the formation of critical matrix cracks that can cause the formation of instantaneous mode II delamination. Incorporation of the nanofibers without causing notable weight penalty effectively toughen the matrix dominant interlaminar zones under high strain rate conditions as well. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.