single file


: a row of persons, animals, or things arranged one behind the other
single file adverb

Examples of single file in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In this volatile environment, students at the José Urbina López Primary School wear crisp uniforms and diligently stand in single file, obeying their teachers’ pleas for silence, even though the sound of gunfire might erupt at any moment. Pat Padua, Washington Post, 31 Oct. 2023 The narrow width can be a nightmare for soldiers who have to move single file through them. Justin Scheck, New York Times, 28 Oct. 2023 The two teams, representing the world’s two longstanding baseball superpowers, entered the field at loanDepot Park on Tuesday in a single file from each outfield corner. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 22 Mar. 2023 The soon-to-be 88-year-old Dr. Glenn Bynum quietly assesses each fighter as men of varying ages, ethnicities and weight classes line up single file in their underwear for the stressful final weigh-in. William Lee, Chicago Tribune, 19 Mar. 2023 After taking shelter in the store for 45 minutes, the police led them outside in a single file. Jack Douglas, Devlin Barrett, Marisa Iati, Bryan Pietsch, Brittany Shammas, Maham Javaid, Justin Wm. Moyer and Niha Masih, The Washington Post, Anchorage Daily News, 8 May 2023 Following the awards, the youngsters were marched around the plaza in single file to be given booklets on proper bicycle riding and pins and stickpins by St. Onge and individual bricks of ice cream donated by the Sanitary Ice Cream company. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Mar. 2023 Men wearing badges numbered 42 and 43 shuffled in sandals and flip-flops in single file across the courtyard behind aid workers to tents. Niki Kitsantonis, New York Times, 16 June 2023 Later, about 25 migrants were led in single file through the gate into the United States and onto a white school-bus style vehicle that drove away. Fabiola Sánchez, USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'single file.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1609, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of single file was in 1609

Dictionary Entries Near single file

Cite this Entry

“Single file.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

single file

: a line of persons or things arranged one behind another
single file adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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