defile

1
[ dih-fahyl ]
/ dɪˈfaɪl /

verb (used with object), de·filed, de·fil·ing.

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.

QUIZZES

PRACTICE SOME ESCAPISM WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

We salute you if you remember all the doovers from Word of the Day between May 25 and May 31!
Question 1 of 7
salute

Origin of defile

1
1275–1325; Middle English defilen, defelen, alteration of defoilen (by association with filen to file3) < Anglo-French, Old French defouler to trample on, violate; compare Old English befȳlan to befoul

OTHER WORDS FROM defile

Definition for defile (2 of 2)

defile2
[ dih-fahyl, dee-fahyl ]
/ dɪˈfaɪl, ˈdi faɪl /

noun

any narrow passage, especially between mountains.

verb (used without object), de·filed, de·fil·ing.

to march in a line or by files.

Origin of defile

2
1675–85; < French défilé, noun use of past participle of défiler to file off; see defilade
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for defile

British Dictionary definitions for defile (1 of 2)

defile1
/ (dɪˈfaɪl) /

verb (tr)

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

Derived forms of defile

defilement, noundefiler, noun

Word Origin for defile

C14: from earlier defoilen (influenced by filen to file ³), from Old French defouler to trample underfoot, abuse, from de- + fouler to tread upon; see full ²

British Dictionary definitions for defile (2 of 2)

defile2
/ (ˈdiːfaɪl, dɪˈfaɪl) /

noun

a narrow pass or gorge, esp one between two mountains
a single file of soldiers, etc

verb

mainly military to march or cause to march in single file

Word Origin for defile

C17: from French défilé, from défiler to file off, from filer to march in a column, from Old French: to spin, from fil thread, from Latin fīlum
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012