[ dih-fahyl ]
/ dɪˈfaɪl /
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verb (used with object), de·filed, de·fil·ing.
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…
Origin of defile1
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 defilede·fil·a·ble, adjectivede·file·ment, nounde·fil·er, nounde·fil·ing·ly, adverb
Other definitions for defile (2 of 2)
[ dih-fahyl, dee-fahyl ]
/ dɪˈfaɪl, ˈdi faɪl /
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 defile2
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. 2023
How to use defile in a sentence
And Mr. Gosse saw him as the defiler of the purity of the English language.The Life of Francis Thompson|Everard Meynell
They hate the army of Aerschot and Lorraine as a mother hates the defiler of her child.Golden Lads|Arthur Gleason and Helen Hayes Gleason
Schwartz's kick at the Master had thrown the adoring dog into a maniac rage against this defiler of his idol.Lad: A Dog|Albert Payson Terhune
The impulse to crush the defiler was checked by the sudden appearance of two men inside the curtains.Graustark|George Barr McCutcheon
He returned unexpectedly soon, however; found his home occupied, and stabbed the defiler of it.Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume I (of 2)|Harriet Martineau
British Dictionary definitions for defile (1 of 2)
/ (dɪˈfaɪl) /
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 defiledefilement, 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)
/ (ˈdiːfaɪl, dɪˈfaɪl) /
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
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