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file Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a set of related records (either written or electronic) kept together
    data file.
  2. noun a line of persons or things ranged one behind the other
    Indian file; single file.
  3. noun office furniture consisting of a container for keeping papers in order
    filing cabinet; file cabinet.
  4. noun a steel hand tool with small sharp teeth on some or all of its surfaces; used for smoothing wood or metal
  5. verb record in a public office or in a court of law
    • file for divorce
    • file a complaint
  6. verb smooth with a file
    • file one's fingernails
  7. verb proceed in line
    • The students filed into the classroom
  8. verb file a formal charge against
    lodge; charge.
    • The suspect was charged with murdering his wife
  9. verb place in a container for keeping records
    file away.
    • File these bills, please

File noun
F. file row (cf. Pr., Sp., Pg., & It. fila), LL. fila, fr. L. filum a thread. Cf. Enfilade, Filament, Fillet.
  1. An orderly succession; a line; a row; as: (a) (Mil) A row of soldiers ranged one behind another; -- in contradistinction to rank, which designates a row of soldiers standing abreast; a number consisting the depth of a body of troops, which, in the ordinary modern formation, consists of two men, the battalion standing two deep, or in two ranks. ✍ The number of files in a company describes its width, as the number of ranks does its depth; thus, 100 men in "fours deep" would be spoken of as 25 files in 4 ranks. Farrow. (b) An orderly collection of papers, arranged in sequence or classified for preservation and reference; as, files of letters or of newspapers; this mail brings English files to the 15th instant. (c) The line, wire, or other contrivance, by which papers are put and kept in order.
    It is upon a file with the duke's other letters. Shak.
    (d) A roll or list. "A file of all the gentry." Shak. (e) (computer) a collection of data on a recording medium treated as a unit for the purpose of recording or reading, accesible by use of a file name.
  2. Course of thought; thread of narration. Obs.
    Let me resume the file of my narration. Sir H. Wotton.
File transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Filed ; present participle & verbal noun Filing
  1. To set in order; to arrange, or lay away, esp. as papers in a methodical manner for preservation and reverence; to place on file; to insert in its proper place in an arranged body of papers.
    I would have my several courses and my dishes well filed. Beau. & Fl.
  2. To bring before a court or legislative body by presenting proper papers in a regular way; as, to file a petition or bill. Burrill.
  3. (Law) To put upon the files or among the records of a court; to note on (a paper) the fact date of its reception in court.
    To file a paper, on the part of a party, is to place it in the official custody of the clerk. To file, on the part of the clerk, is to indorse upon the paper the date of its reception, and retain it in his office, subject to inspection by whomsoever it may concern. Burrill.
File intransitive verb
Cf. F. filer.
  1. (Mil.) To march in a file or line, as soldiers, not abreast, but one after another; -- generally with off.
    My endeavors Have ever come too short of my desires, Yet filed with my abilities. Shak.
File noun
AS. feól; akin to D. viji, OHG. fila, fihala, G. feile, Sw. fil, Dan. fiil, cf. Icel. l, Russ. pila, and Skr. pi to cut out, adorn; perh. akin to E. paint.
  1. A steel instrument, having cutting ridges or teeth, made by indentation with a chisel, used for abrading or smoothing other substances, as metals, wood, etc. ✍ A file differs from a rasp in having the furrows made by straight cuts of a chisel, either single or crossed, while the rasp has coarse, single teeth, raised by the pyramidal end of a triangular punch.
  2. Anything employed to smooth, polish, or rasp, literally or figuratively.
    Mock the nice touches of the critic's file. Akenside.
  3. A shrewd or artful person. Slang Fielding.
    Will is an old file spite of his smooth face. Thackeray.
File transitive verb
  1. To rub, smooth, or cut away, with a file; to sharpen with a file; as, to file a saw or a tooth.
  2. To smooth or polish as with a file. Shak.
    File your tongue to a little more courtesy.Sir W.Scott.
File transitive verb
OE. fulen, filen, foulen, AS. flan, fr. fl foul. See Foul, and cf. Defile, v.t.
  1. To make ful; to defile. Obs.
    All his hairy breast with blood was filed.Spenser.
    For Banquo's issue have I filed mind.Shak.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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