- to make foul, dirty, or unclean; pollute; taint; debase.
- to violate the chastity of.
- to make impure for ceremonial use; desecrate.
- to sully, as a person's reputation.
Origin of defile1
- any narrow passage, especially between mountains.
- to march in a line or by files.
Origin of defile2
Related Words for defilesully, debase, degrade, dishonor, discolor, desecrate, vitiate, besmirch, disgrace, soil, shame, molest, rape, pollute, seduce, tarnish, contaminate, stain, trash, deflower
Examples from the Web for defile
Contemporary Examples of defile
Smoking, the statement suggests, will direct their actions, defile their bodies and “cost them” a great deal.France's Anti-Smoking Faux Pas
February 24, 2010
Historical Examples of defile
They thought of the Earth as their mother and would not put anything into it to defile it.The Trail Book
The Amandara defile was occupied on both sides by the enemy.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
An Ohio regiment, which can also deal with Slade if it catches him, will defile to the left.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
From north to south there is just one highway, so narrow that it is really a defile.
At last it throws its coldling, shining ray on a defile and rests there.
- to make foul or dirty; pollute
- to tarnish or sully the brightness of; taint; corrupt
- to damage or sully (someone's good name, reputation, etc)
- to make unfit for ceremonial use; desecrate
- to violate the chastity of
Word Origin for defile
- a narrow pass or gorge, esp one between two mountains
- a single file of soldiers, etc
- mainly military to march or cause to march in single file
Word Origin for defile
c.1400, "to desecrate, profane;" mid-15c., "to make foul or dirty," alteration of earlier defoulen, from Old French defouler "trample down, violate," also "ill-treat, dishonor," from de- "down" (see de-) + foler "to tread," from Latin fullo "person who cleans and thickens cloth by stamping on it" (see foil (v.)).
The alteration (or re-formation) in English is from influence of Middle English filen (v.) "to render foul; make unclean or impure," literal and figurative, from Old English fylen (trans.), related to Old English fulian (intrans.) "to become foul, rot," from the source of foul (adj.). Cf. befoul, which also had a parallel form befilen. Related: Defiled; defiling.
"narrow passage," 1640s, especially in a military sense, "a narrow passage down which troops can march only in single file," from French défilé, noun use of past participle of défiler "march by files" (17c.), from de- "off" (see de-) + file "row," from Latin filum "thread" (see file (v.)). The verb in this sense is 1705, from French défiler.