What does file mean?

Definitions for filefɪˈleɪ, ˈfi leɪ

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. file, data file(noun)

    a set of related records (either written or electronic) kept together

  2. file, single file, Indian file(noun)

    a line of persons or things ranged one behind the other

  3. file, file cabinet, filing cabinet(noun)

    office furniture consisting of a container for keeping papers in order

  4. file(verb)

    a steel hand tool with small sharp teeth on some or all of its surfaces; used for smoothing wood or metal

  5. file, register(verb)

    record in a public office or in a court of law

    "file for divorce"; "file a complaint"

  6. file(verb)

    smooth with a file

    "file one's fingernails"

  7. file(verb)

    proceed in line

    "The students filed into the classroom"

  8. charge, lodge, file(verb)

    file a formal charge against

    "The suspect was charged with murdering his wife"

  9. file, file away(verb)

    place in a container for keeping records

    "File these bills, please"


  1. File(n.)

    (computers) a collection of data on a digital recording medium treated as a unit for the purpose of recording, reading, storage, or indexing; -- such a file is typically accessible by computer programs by the use of a file name. The data may be of any type codable digitally, such as simple ASCII-coded text, complex binary-coded data, or an executable program, or may be itself a collection of other files.

  2. Origin: [F. file row (cf. Pr., Sp., Pg., & It. fila), LL. fila, fr. L. filum a thread. Cf. Enfilade, Filament, Fillet.]

Webster Dictionary

  1. File(noun)

    an orderly succession; a line; a row

  2. File(noun)

    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

  3. File(noun)

    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

  4. File(noun)

    the line, wire, or other contrivance, by which papers are put and kept in order

  5. File(noun)

    a roll or list

  6. File(noun)

    course of thought; thread of narration

  7. File(verb)

    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

  8. File(verb)

    to bring before a court or legislative body by presenting proper papers in a regular way; as, to file a petition or bill

  9. File(verb)

    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

  10. File(verb)

    to march in a file or line, as soldiers, not abreast, but one after another; -- generally with off

  11. File(noun)

    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

  12. File(noun)

    anything employed to smooth, polish, or rasp, literally or figuratively

  13. File(noun)

    a shrewd or artful person

  14. File(verb)

    to rub, smooth, or cut away, with a file; to sharpen with a file; as, to file a saw or a tooth

  15. File(verb)

    to smooth or polish as with a file

  16. File(verb)

    to make foul; to defile

  17. Origin: [OE. fulen, filen, foulen, AS. flan, fr. fl foul. See Foul, and cf. Defile, v. t.]


  1. File

    A file is a metalworking, woodworking and plastic working tool used to cut fine amounts of material from a workpiece. It most commonly refers to the hand tool style, which takes the form of a steel bar with a case hardened surface and a series of sharp, parallel teeth. Most files have a narrow, pointed tang at one end to which a handle can be fitted. A similar tool is the rasp. This is an older form, with simpler teeth. As they have larger clearance between teeth, these are usually used on softer, non-metallic materials. Related tools have been developed with abrasive surfaces, such as diamond abrasives or silicon carbide. Because of their similar form and function, these have also been termed 'files'.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. File

    fīl, n. a line or wire on which papers are placed in order: the papers so placed: a roll or list: a line of soldiers ranged behind one another: the number of men forming the depth of a battalion.—v.t. to put upon a file: to arrange in an orderly manner: to put among the records of a court: to bring before a court.—v.i. to march in a file.—n. File′-lead′er.—File off, to wheel off at right angles to the first direction; File with, to rank with, to be equal to.—Single file, Indian file, of men marching one behind another. [Fr. file—L. filum, a thread.]

  2. File

    fīl, n. a steel instrument with sharp-edged furrows for smoothing or rasping metals, &c.: any means adopted to polish a thing, as a literary style: a shrewd, cunning person, a deep fellow: a pickpocket.—v.t. to cut or smooth with, or as with, a file: to polish, improve.—n. File′-cut′ter, a maker of files.—adj. Filed, polished, smooth.—ns. File′-fish, a fish of genus Balistes, the skin granulated like a file; Fil′er, one who files; Fil′ing, a particle rubbed off with a file. [A.S. feól; Ger. feile; Dut. vijl.]

  3. File

    fīl, v.t. (Shak.) to defile, pollute.

Editors Contribution

  1. file

    A type of tool and product created and defined in various colors, materials, mechanisms, shapes, sizes and styles.

    A file can be used to plane wood or shape the fingernails.

  2. file

    A type of tool and product created and designed in various colors, materials, mechanisms, shapes, sizes and styles used to shape a fingernail or toenail.

    You can buy a file to shape your fingernails or toenails.

Suggested Resources

  1. FILÉ

    What does FILÉ stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the FILÉ acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'file' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1918

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'file' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1526

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'file' in Nouns Frequency: #555

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'file' in Verbs Frequency: #872


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of file in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of file in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Marshall Huebner of Davis Polk:

    Don't file papers. Please, just call us.

  2. Zalman Stern, former ITC hacker diety:

    Distributed file systems are a cruel hoax.

  3. Anonymous:

    Bad Command or File Name. Good try, though.

  4. Kim Davis:

    The Kelly File. if I resign, I lose my voice.

  5. Ignazio Marino:

    The alternative would be to file for bankruptcy.

Images & Illustrations of file

  1. filefilefile

Translations for file

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • lêerAfrikaans
  • مِلَفّ, ملفArabic
  • игәүBashkir
  • напільнікBelarusian
  • файл, линия, регистрирам, картотекирам, папка, колона, пила, подавам, пиля, запомнямBulgarian
  • arxiu, llima, fitxerCatalan, Valencian
  • archiv, pilovat, soubor, pořadač, pilníkCzech
  • fil, arkivalie, kø, arkivereDanish
  • beantragen, archivieren, Akte, Kartei, Reihe, Feile, Antrag stellen, feilen, Datei, File, speichernGerman
  • αρχείο, συστοιχία, αρχειοθετώ, ρινίζω, στήλη, σειρά, λίμα, καταθέτω, λιμάρωGreek
  • dosiero, vico, fajlilo, fajliEsperanto
  • archivo, guardar, fila, lima, gestionar, limar, fichero, archivarSpanish
  • esitama, viilima, fail, liin, säilik, toimik, salvestama, arhiivima, kolonn, viilEstonian
  • پروندهPersian
  • viila, jättää hakemus, tiedosto, linja, tallentaa, nostaa, kansio, jono, arkistoida, jättää, viilata, hakeaFinnish
  • fichier, limer, limeFrench
  • triemWestern Frisian
  • lìomhScottish Gaelic
  • קוֹבֶץHebrew
  • फ़ाइलHindi
  • reszelő, adatállomány, megreszel, lereszel, fájl, reszelHungarian
  • նիշք, խարտոցArmenian
  • tölvuskrá, skráIcelandic
  • presentare, archivio, fila, lima, limare, archiviare, depositare, intentareItalian
  • ファイル, 綴じ込み, 列, 鑢, 保存, 提起, 保管, 申請, やすりを掛ける, やすりJapanese
  • ქლიბიGeorgian
  • 줄, 파일, 쓸다Korean
  • byla, :lt:byla, failasLithuanian
  • rinda, fails, ierinda, vīle, vīlētLatvian
  • поднесува, картотека, строј, еге, архивира, турпија, датотека, струга, податотека, колона, пила, регистрира, досие, низаMacedonian
  • jiffajlja, tillima, fajl, arkivju, ringiela, lima, tiffajlja, jillimaMaltese
  • fremmeNorwegian
  • archiveren, vijlen, bestand, file, dossier, rij, vijl, ordner, kolonne, opslaan, lijnDutch
  • arkivere, arkiv, lagre, fil, inngiNorwegian
  • opiłować, plik, opiłowywać, pilnikPolish
  • ficheiro, guardar, linha, arquivar, salvar, arquivo, fila, lima, limar, lixa, registrarPortuguese
  • fișier, pilăRomanian
  • папка, шлифовать, напильник, подпиливать, вереница, пилка, файл, дело, колоннаRussian
  • datoteka, turpija, fascikl, турпијаSerbo-Croatian
  • pilníkSlovak
  • datoteka, kolona, pila, pilitiSlovene
  • faeleSouthern Sotho
  • arkiv, fil, fila, linje, arkivera, köSwedish
  • ఆకురాయిTelugu
  • ไฟล์, แฟ้มThai
  • dosya, eğe, törpüTurkish
  • річ, напилок, пилкаUkrainian
  • tệp, cái giũa, tập tin, giũaVietnamese

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