follow Dictionary.com

Today's Word of the Day means...

defile1

[dih-fahyl] /dɪˈfaɪl/
verb (used with object), defiled, defiling.
1.
to make foul, dirty, or unclean; pollute; taint; debase.
2.
to violate the chastity of.
3.
to make impure for ceremonial use; desecrate.
4.
to sully, as a person's reputation.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English defilen, defelen, alteration of defoilen (by association with filen to file3) < Anglo-French, Old French defouler to trample on, violate; compare Old English befȳlan to befoul
Related forms
defilable, adjective
defilement, noun
defiler, noun
defilingly, adverb
nondefilement, noun

defile2

[dih-fahyl, dee-fahyl] /dɪˈfaɪl, ˈdi faɪl/
noun
1.
any narrow passage, especially between mountains.
verb (used without object), defiled, defiling.
2.
to march in a line or by files.
Origin
1675-85; < French défilé, noun use of past participle of défiler to file off; see defilade
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for de-file

defile1

/dɪˈfaɪl/
verb (transitive)
1.
to make foul or dirty; pollute
2.
to tarnish or sully the brightness of; taint; corrupt
3.
to damage or sully (someone's good name, reputation, etc)
4.
to make unfit for ceremonial use; desecrate
5.
to violate the chastity of
Derived Forms
defilement, noun
defiler, noun
Word Origin
C14: from earlier defoilen (influenced by filen to file³), from Old French defouler to trample underfoot, abuse, from de- + fouler to tread upon; see full²

defile2

/ˈdiːfaɪl; dɪˈfaɪl/
noun
1.
a narrow pass or gorge, esp one between two mountains
2.
a single file of soldiers, etc
verb
3.
(mainly military) to march or cause to march in single file
Word Origin
C17: from French défilé, from défiler to file off, from filer to march in a column, from Old French: to spin, from fil thread, from Latin fīlum
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for de-file
defile
"make filthy," c.1280, from O.Fr. defouler "trample down, violate," from de- "down" + fouler "to tread," from L. fullo "person who cleans and thickens cloth by stamping on it." Sense infl. by foul (q.v.); spelling infl. by obsolete native befile, which it replaced and which meant about the same thing.
defile
"narrow passage," 1640s, especially in a military sense, "a narrow passage down which troops can march only in single file," from Fr. défilé, n. use of pp. of défiler "march by files."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for defile

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for de

3
3
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with de-file