file

1
[ fahyl ]
/ faɪl /
|||

noun

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

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

to march in a file or line, one after another, as soldiers: The parade filed past endlessly.
to make application: to file for a civil-service job.

Idioms

    on file, arranged in order for convenient reference; in a file: The names are on file in the office.

Origin of file

1
1425–75; late Middle English filen < Middle French filer to string documents on a thread or wire, Old French: to wind or spin thread < Late Latin fīlāre, verbal derivative of Latin fīlum thread, string

Related forms

file·a·ble, adjectivefil·er, nounnon·fil·er, noun

Can be confused

file phial

Definition for file (2 of 4)

file

2
[ fahyl ]
/ faɪl /

noun

a long, narrow tool of steel or other metal having a series of ridges or points on its surfaces for reducing or smoothing surfaces of metal, wood, etc.
a small, similar tool for trimming and cleaning fingernails; nail file.
British Slang. a cunning, shrewd, or artful person.

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

to reduce, smooth, or remove with or as if with a file.

Origin of file

2
before 900; Middle English; Old English fīl, fēol; cognate with German Feile; akin to Greek pikrós sharp

Related forms

file·a·ble, adjectivefil·er, noun

Definition for file (3 of 4)

file

3
[ fahyl ]
/ faɪl /

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

to defile; corrupt.

Origin of file

3
before 1000; Middle English; Old English fȳlan to befoul, defile, derivative of fūl foul

Definition for file (4 of 4)

filé

[ fi-ley, fee-ley ]
/ fɪˈleɪ, ˈfi leɪ /

noun New Orleans Cookery.

a powder made from the ground leaves of the sassafras tree, used as a thickener and to impart a pungent taste to soups, gumbos, and other dishes.

Origin of filé

1800–10, Americanism; < Louisiana French; literally, twisted, ropy, stringy (perhaps orig. applied to dishes thickened with the powder), past participle of French filer; see file1
Also called filé powder.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for file

British Dictionary definitions for file (1 of 3)

file

1
/ (faɪl) /

noun


verb

Derived Forms

filer, noun

Word Origin for file

C16 (in the sense: string on which documents are hung): from Old French filer, from Medieval Latin fīlāre; see filament

British Dictionary definitions for file (2 of 3)

file

2
/ (faɪl) /

noun

a hand tool consisting essentially of a steel blade with small cutting teeth on some or all of its faces. It is used for shaping or smoothing metal, wood, etc
rare, British slang a cunning or deceitful person

verb

(tr) to shape or smooth (a surface) with a file

Derived Forms

filer, noun

Word Origin for file

Old English fīl; related to Old Saxon fīla, Old High German fīhala file, Greek pikros bitter, sharp

British Dictionary definitions for file (3 of 3)

file

3
/ (faɪl) /

verb

(tr) obsolete to pollute or defile

Word Origin for file

Old English fӯlan; related to Middle Low German vülen; see defile 1, filth, foul
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

Science definitions for file

file

[ fīl ]

A collection of related data or program records stored as a unit with a single name. Files are the basic units that a computer works with in storing and retrieving data.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with file

file

see in single file; on file; rank and file.


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.