file

1
[fahyl]
|||

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 formsfile·a·ble, adjectivefil·er, nounnon·fil·er, noun
Can be confusedfile phial

Synonyms for file

file

2
[fahyl]

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 formsfile·a·ble, adjectivefil·er, noun

file

3
[fahyl]

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

filé

[fi-ley, fee-ley]

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

Contemporary Examples of file

Historical Examples of file

  • If you were envied, why should you sharpen envy, and file up its teeth to an edge?

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • A complete list of the changes made is appended at the end of the file.

    Beowulf

    Unknown

  • Your browser must support the Unicode character set to use this file.

    Beowulf

    Unknown

  • During the night he managed to file the brass of his bedstead.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Several dozen ogres were sitting around the cave in rank and file.


British Dictionary definitions for file

file

1

noun

a folder, box, etc, used to keep documents or other items in order
the documents, etc, kept in this way
documents or information about a specific subject, person, etcwe have a file on every known thief
an orderly line or row
a line of people in marching formation, one behind anotherCompare rank 1 (def. 6)
any of the eight vertical rows of squares on a chessboard
computing a named collection of information, in the form of text, programs, graphics, etc, held on a permanent storage device such as a magnetic disk
obsolete a list or catalogue
Canadian a group of problems or responsibilities, esp in government, associated with a particular topicthe environment file
on file recorded or catalogued for reference, as in a file

verb

to place (a document, letter, etc) in a file
(tr) to put on record, esp to place (a legal document) on public or official record; register
(tr) to bring (a suit, esp a divorce suit) in a court of law
(tr) to submit (copy) to a newspaper or news agency
(intr) to march or walk in a file or filesthe ants filed down the hill
Derived Formsfiler, 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

file

2

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 Formsfiler, noun

Word Origin for file

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

file

3

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

Word Origin and History for file
v.

"to place (papers) in consecutive order for future reference," mid-15c., from Middle French filer "string documents on a wire for preservation or reference," from fil "thread, string" (12c.), from Latin filum "a thread, string," from PIE *gwhis-lom (cf. Armenian jil "sinew, string, line," Lithuanian gysla "vein, sinew," Old Church Slavonic zila "vein"), from root *gwhi- "thread, tendon." The notion is of documents hung up on a line.

File (filacium) is a threed or wyer, whereon writs, or other exhibits in courts, are fastened for the better keeping of them. [Cowel, "The Interpreter," 1607]

Methods have become more sophisticated, but the word has stuck. Related: Filed; filing.

n.2

metal tool, Old English feol (Mercian fil), from Proto-Germanic *finkhlo (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German fila, Middle Dutch vile, Dutch vijl, German Feile), probably from PIE *peig- "to cut, mark by incision" (see paint (v.)). The verb in this sense is from early 13c., from Old English filian. Related: Filed; filing.

n.1

1520s, "string or wire on which documents are strung," from French file "row," from Middle French filer (see file (v.)). The meaning "arranged collection of papers" is from 1620s; computer sense is from 1954. The military sense "line or row of men" (1590s) is from the French verb in the sense of "spin out (thread); march in file."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

file in Science

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.