American Dictionary of the English Language

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FILE, noun [Latin filum. The primary sense is probably to draw out or extend, or to twist.]

1. A thread, string of line; particularly, a line or wire on which papers are strung in due order for preservation, and for conveniently finding them when wanted. Documents are kept on file

2. The whole number of papers strung on a line or wire; as a file of writs. A file is a record of court.

3. A bundle of papers tied together, with the title of each indorsed; the mode of arranging and keeping papers being changed, without a change of names.

4. A roll, list or catalogue.

5. A row of soldiers ranged one behind another, from front to rear; the number of men constituting the depth of the battalion or squadron.

FILE, verb transitive

1. To string; to fasten, as papers, on a line or wire for preservation. Declarations and affidavits must be filed. An original writ may be filed after judgment.

2. To arrange or insert in a bundle, as papers, indorsing the title on each paper. This is now the more common mode of filing papers in public and private offices.

3. To present or exhibit officially, or for trial; as, to file a bill in chancery.

FILE, verb intransitive To march in a file or line, as soldiers, not abreast, but one after another.

FILE, noun

An instrument used in smoothing and polishing metals, formed of iron or steel, and cut in little furrows.

FILE, verb transitive

1. To rub and smooth with a file; to polish.

2. To cut as with a file; to wear off or away by friction; as, to file off a tooth.

3. [from defile.] To foul or defile. [Not used.]