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defile

1
[ dih-fahyl ]
/ dɪˈfaɪl /
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See synonyms for: defile / defiled / defiling / defilement on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), de·filed, de·fil·ing.
to make foul, dirty, or unclean; pollute; taint; debase.
to make impure for ceremonial use; desecrate.
to sully, as a person's reputation.
Archaic. to violate the chastity of.
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Origin of defile

1
First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English defilen, defelen, alteration of defoilen (by association with filen “to defile” (see file3), from Anglo-French, Old French defouler “to trample on, violate”; compare Old English befȳlan “to befoul”

OTHER WORDS FROM defile

de·fil·a·ble, adjectivede·file·ment, nounde·fil·er, nounde·fil·ing·ly, adverb

Other definitions 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. 2022

How to use defile in a sentence

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
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