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1

defile

play
verb de·file \di-ˈfī(-ə)l, dē-\

Definition of defile

de·filedde·fil·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to make unclean or impure: as a :  to corrupt the purity or perfection of :  debase <the countryside defiled by billboards> b :  to violate the chastity of :  deflower c :  to make physically unclean especially with something unpleasant or contaminating <boots defiled with blood> d :  to violate the sanctity of :  desecrate <defile a sanctuary> e :  sully, dishonor

de·file·ment play \-ˈfī(-ə)l-mənt\ noun
de·fil·er play \-ˈfī-lər\ noun


Origin of defile

Middle English, alteration (influenced by filen to defile, from Old English fȳlan) of defoilen to trample, defile, from Anglo-French defoiller, defuler, to trample, from de- + fuller, foller to trample, literally, to full — more at full


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of defile

contaminate, taint, pollute, defile mean to make impure or unclean. contaminate implies intrusion of or contact with dirt or foulness from an outside source <water contaminated by industrial wastes>. taint stresses the loss of purity or cleanliness that follows contamination <tainted meat> <a politician's tainted reputation>. pollute, sometimes interchangeable with contaminate, distinctively may imply that the process which begins with contamination is complete and that what was pure or clean has been made foul, poisoned, or filthy <the polluted waters of the river>. defile implies befouling of what could or should have been kept clean and pure or held sacred and commonly suggests violation or desecration <defile a hero's memory with slanderous innuendo>.

2

defile

play
noun de·file \di-ˈfī(-ə)l, ˈdē-ˌfī(-ə)l\

Simple Definition of defile

  • : a narrow passage through mountains

Full Definition of defile

  1. :  a narrow passage or gorge

Examples of defile

  1. <the cattle, once they were cornered in the defile, were quickly rounded up>



Origin of defile

French défilé, from past participle of défiler


First Known Use: 1685


3

defile

play
verb de·file \di-ˈfī(-ə)l, ˈdē-ˌfī(-ə)l\

Definition of defile

de·filedde·fil·ing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to march off in a line



Origin of defile

French défiler, from dé- de- + filer to move in a column — more at file


First Known Use: 1705



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