1

defile

play
verb de·file \di-ˈfī(-ə)l, dē-\

Definition of defile

defiled

;

defiling

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to make unclean or impure: such asa :  to corrupt the purity or perfection of :  debase the countryside defiled by billboardsb :  to violate the chastity or virginity of :  deflowerc :  to make physically unclean especially with something unpleasant or contaminating boots defiled with blood … I had never allowed anyone to smoke in the truck. Drunk as I was, I knew that I was betraying something by allowing him to defile the truck's interior. — Patrick Moored :  to violate the sanctity of :  desecrate defile a sanctuary went to jail for costuming themselves in the American flag and thus defiling it — James R. Gainese :  sully, dishonor defile his reputation

defilement

play \-ˈfī(-ə)l-mənt\ noun

defiler

play \-ˈfī-lər\ noun

defile was our Word of the Day on 04/05/2017. Hear the podcast!

Origin and Etymology 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: 15th 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\

Definition of defile

geology

  1. :  a narrow passage (as between hills, rocks, or cliffs) :  1gorge … come to us from a narrow defile in the Pennine Alps between Switzerland and Italy, a place called the Great St. Bernard Pass. — Michael Olmert

Examples of defile in a Sentence

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

Origin and Etymology of defile

French défilé, from past participle of défiler —see 3defile


First Known Use: 1685


3

defile

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

Definition of defile

defiled

;

defiling

military

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to march off in a line … breaks out into a brave and glorious descripion of the forces, as they defiled through the principal gate of the city … — Washington Irving

Origin and Etymology of defile

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


First Known Use: 1705


DEFILE Defined for English Language Learners

2

defile

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

Definition of defile for English Language Learners

  • : a narrow passage through mountains


Law Dictionary

defile

play play
transitive verb de·file \di-ˈfīl\

Legal Definition of defile

defiled

defiling

  1. :  to dishonor by physical acts (as trampling, dirtying, or mutilating) defiling the flag

defilement

noun

defiler

noun


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