- 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
Examples from the Web for defilement
For, if there were a God, how could he let purity be clasped in the arms of defilement?Wilfrid Cumbermede
They were greatly afraid of defilement there, and would not come too close.
If she touched me she would have to bathe to get rid of the defilement.
And the whiter the soul that is dragged through that—that mire, the more the defilement.The Christian
The thing she proposed was to him, as he had truly said, a desecration, a defilement.The Historical Nights Entertainment, Second Series
- 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
- 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 and History for defilement
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.