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 billboards>b :  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 Moore>d :  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. Gaines>e :  sully, dishonor <defile his reputation>

defilement

play \-ˈfī(-ə)l-mənt\ noun

defiler

play \-ˈfī-lər\ noun

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: 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\

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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