What does defile mean?

Definitions for defiledɪˈfaɪl, ˈdi faɪl

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word defile.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. defile, gorge(noun)

    a narrow pass (especially one between mountains)

  2. defile, sully, corrupt, taint, cloud(verb)

    place under suspicion or cast doubt upon

    "sully someone's reputation"

  3. tarnish, stain, maculate, sully, defile(verb)

    make dirty or spotty, as by exposure to air; also used metaphorically

    "The silver was tarnished by the long exposure to the air"; "Her reputation was sullied after the affair with a married man"

  4. foul, befoul, defile, maculate(verb)

    spot, stain, or pollute

    "The townspeople defiled the river by emptying raw sewage into it"

Webster Dictionary

  1. Defile(verb)

    to march off in a line, file by file; to file off

  2. Defile(verb)

    same as Defilade

  3. Defile(noun)

    any narrow passage or gorge in which troops can march only in a file, or with a narrow front; a long, narrow pass between hills, rocks, etc

  4. Defile(noun)

    the act of defilading a fortress, or of raising the exterior works in order to protect the interior. See Defilade

  5. Defile(verb)

    to make foul or impure; to make filthy; to dirty; to befoul; to pollute

  6. Defile(verb)

    to soil or sully; to tarnish, as reputation; to taint

  7. Defile(verb)

    to injure in purity of character; to corrupt

  8. Defile(verb)

    to corrupt the chastity of; to debauch; to violate

  9. Defile(verb)

    to make ceremonially unclean; to pollute

  10. Origin: [OE. defoulen, -foilen, to tread down, OF. defouler; de- + fouler to trample (see Full, v. t.), and OE. defoulen to foul (influenced in form by the older verb defoilen). See File to defile, Foul, Defoul.]


  1. Defile

    Defile is a geographic term for a narrow pass or gorge between mountains or hills. It has its origins as a military description of a pass through which troops can march only in a narrow column or with a narrow front. On emerging from a defile into open country, soldiers are said to "debouch". In a traditional military formation, soldiers march in rank and files, so, if a column of soldiers approach a narrow pass the formation must narrow which means that files on the outside must be ordered to the rear so that the column has fewer files and more ranks. The French verb for this order is défilé, from which the English verb comes, as does the physical description for a valley that forces this manoeuvre. Defiles of military significance can also be formed by other physical features that flank a pass or path and cause it to narrow, for example impassable woods and rivers. At the Battle of Agincourt a defile formed by the woods of Agincourt and Tramecourt caused a choke point for the French army and aided the English in their victory over the French. Some defiles have a permanent strategic importance and become known by that term in military literature. For example the military historian William Siborne names such a geographic feature in France near the frontier with Germany in his book Waterloo Campaign 1815:

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Defile

    dē-fīl′, or dē′fīl, v.i. to march off in file or line, or file by file.—n. a long narrow pass or way, in which troops can march only in file, or with a narrow front.—v.t. Defilāde′, to plan a fortification so as to protect it from enfilading fire.—n. Defile′ment. [Fr. défiler—L. dis, and filum, a thread.]

  2. Defile

    de-fīl′, v.t. to pollute or corrupt: to violate.—ns. Defile′ment, act of defiling: foulness; Defil′er. [L. de, and A.S. fýlan, fúl, foul.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of defile in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of defile in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Steve Hofmeyr:

    I don't want fewer monuments, i want more monuments erected. But don't defile the ones that exist -- we are the sum total of all the history, not just the fun parts.

  2. Ramabina Mahapa:

    I want more monuments erected. But don't defile the ones that exist -- we are the sum total of all the history, not just the fun parts. people down the years will be looking at the statue and at his history and what he did.

  3. Kelvin Cochran:

    Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex, and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body – temple and dishonor God. i did not single out homosexuality.

Images & Illustrations of defile

  1. defiledefiledefile

Translations for defile

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • لوثArabic
  • осквернявам, опетнявам, дефилирамBulgarian
  • embrutar, contaminar, pol·luirCatalan, Valencian
  • verunreinigen, Engpass, HohlwegGerman
  • estrecho, contaminar, impurificar, desfiladero, ensuciar, desfilar, angostura, paso, desfileSpanish
  • tahrata, jono, solaFinnish
  • défilé, souiller, défiler, déflorerFrench
  • अपवित्र करनाHindi
  • לְטַמֵאHebrew
  • 汚れたJapanese
  • inquinōLatin
  • engte, bevuilen, defiléDutch
  • conspurcarPortuguese
  • spurcaRomanian
  • дефиле́, тесни́на, загрязня́ть, оскверня́ть, растлева́ть, па́чкать, дефилировать, развраща́ть, мара́ть, [[у́зкий]] [[прохо́д]], дефилеRussian
  • orena, defileraSwedish

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"defile." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 26 Apr. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/defile>.

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