[fi-ley, fee-ley]
noun New Orleans Cookery.
a powder made from the ground leaves of the sassafras tree, used as a thickener and to impart a pungent taste to soups, gumbos, and other dishes.
Also called filé powder.

1800–10, Americanism; < Louisiana French; literally, twisted, ropy, stringy (perhaps orig. applied to dishes thickened with the powder), past participle of French filer; see file1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
file1 (faɪl)
1.  a folder, box, etc, used to keep documents or other items in order
2.  the documents, etc, kept in this way
3.  documents or information about a specific subject, person, etc: we have a file on every known thief
4.  an orderly line or row
5.  Compare rank a line of people in marching formation, one behind another
6.  any of the eight vertical rows of squares on a chessboard
7.  computing a named collection of information, in the form of text, programs, graphics, etc, held on a permanent storage device such as a magnetic disk
8.  obsolete a list or catalogue
9.  (Canadian) a group of problems or responsibilities, esp in government, associated with a particular topic: the environment file
10.  on file recorded or catalogued for reference, as in a file
11.  to place (a document, letter, etc) in a file
12.  (tr) to put on record, esp to place (a legal document) on public or official record; register
13.  (tr) to bring (a suit, esp a divorce suit) in a court of law
14.  (tr) to submit (copy) to a newspaper or news agency
15.  (intr) to march or walk in a file or files: the ants filed down the hill
[C16 (in the sense: string on which documents are hung): from Old French filer, from Medieval Latin fīlāre; see filament]

file2 (faɪl)
1.  a hand tool consisting essentially of a steel blade with small cutting teeth on some or all of its faces. It is used for shaping or smoothing metal, wood, etc
2.  rare, slang (Brit) a cunning or deceitful person
3.  (tr) to shape or smooth (a surface) with a file
[Old English fīl; related to Old Saxon fīla, Old High German fīhala file, Greek pikros bitter, sharp]

file3 (faɪl)
obsolete (tr) to pollute or defile
[Old English fӯlan; related to Middle Low German vülen; see defile1, filth, foul]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"to place (papers) in consecutive order for future reference," late 15c., from M.Fr. filer "string documents on a wire for preservation or reference," from fil "thread, string," from L. filum "thread," from PIE base *gwhis-lom (cf. Armenian jil "sinew, string, line," Lith. gysla "vein, sinew," O.C.S.
zila "vein"). The notion is of documents hung up on a line like drying laundry. Methods have become more sophisticated, but the word has stuck. The noun first attested in Eng. in the military sense, "line or row of men," 1590s, from M.Fr. filer in the sense of "spin out (thread), march in file." Related: Filed; filing. The noun meaning "arranged collection of papers" is from 1620s; computer sense is from 1954.

"metal tool," O.E. feol (Mercian fil), from P.Gmc. *finkhlo (cf. O.H.G. fila, M.Du. vile, Ger. Feile), probably from PIE *pik-/*peik- "cut" (cf. Skt. pimsati "hews out, carves," L. pingere "to paint," O.C.S. pila "file, saw," Lith. pela "file;" see paint). The verb in this
sense is from early 13c. Related: Filed; filing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
file   (fīl)  Pronunciation Key 
A collection of related data or program records stored as a unit with a single name. Files are the basic units that a computer works with in storing and retrieving data.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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