defile

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See also: defilé, défile, défilé, and defilè

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Late Middle English defilen (to make dirty, befoul; to contaminate (the body or an organ) with dirt or disease; to pollute morally or spiritually; to desecrate, profane; to violate (the sanctity of marriage, an agreement or oath, etc.); to rape; to slander; to abuse; to destroy; to injure; to treat unfairly, oppress) [and other forms],[1] a variant of defoulen (to make dirty, defile, pollute; to contaminate (the body or an organ) with dirt or disease; to pollute morally or spiritually; to desecrate, profane; to violate (the sanctity of marriage, an agreement or oath, etc.); to have sexual intercourse with; to rape; etc.)[2] (compare also defoilen).[3] Defoulen is derived from Old French defouler (to trample; to oppress; to outrage; to pollute; to violate), from de- (prefix indicating actions are done more strongly or vigorously) + fouler (to trample, tread on; to mistreat, oppress), foler (to destroy; to mistreat) (from Vulgar Latin fullare (to full (make cloth denser and firmer by soaking, beating, and pressing)), from Latin fullō (person who fulls cloth, fuller); further etymology uncertain, possibly from Proto-Indo-European *bʰleh₃- (to blow; to inflate, swell; to bloom, flower) or Etruscan 𐌖𐌋𐌖𐌘 (fulu)).[4] The English word is analysable as de- (intensifying prefix) +‎ file ((archaic) to corrupt; to defile).

The Middle English word defilen was probably formed from defoulen on the analogy[4] of befilen (to make dirty, befoul; to corrupt; to violate one's chastity; to desecrate; to slander)[5] and befoulen (to make dirty, befoul; to violate one's chastity; to vilify),[6], respectively from filen (to make foul, impure, or unclean, pollute; to pollute morally or spiritually; to desecrate, profane; to have sexual intercourse with; to rape; etc.)[7] and foulen (to make dirty, pollute; to become dirty; to defecate; to deface or deform; to pollute morally or spiritually; to damage, injure; to destroy; to treat unfairly, oppress; to tread on, trample).[8] Filen and foulen are respectively from Old English fȳlan (to befoul, defile, pollute) and fūlian (to foul), both from Proto-West Germanic *fūlijan (to make dirty, befoul), from Proto-Germanic *fūlijaną (to make dirty, befoul), from *fūlaz (dirty, foul; rotten), from Proto-Indo-European *puH- (foul; rotten).

Verb[edit]

defile (third-person singular simple present defiles, present participle defiling, simple past and past participle defiled)

  1. (transitive)
    1. To make (someone or something) physically dirty or unclean; to befoul, to soil.
      Synonyms: contaminate, pollute, spoil, sully; see also Thesaurus:dirty
      Antonyms: clean, purify; see also Thesaurus:make clean
      • 1549 April 22 (Gregorian calendar), Hughe Latymer [i.e., Hugh Latimer]; Augustine Bernher, compiler, “[27 Sermons Preached by the Ryght Reuerende Father in God and Constant Matir of Iesus Christe, Maister Hugh Latimer, [].] The Syxte Sermon of Maister Hugh Latymer, whiche He Preached before K. Edward [VI], the XII. Day of Aprill.”, in Certayn Godly Sermons, Made uppon the Lords Prayer, [], London: [] John Day, [], published 1562, OCLC 12219849, folio 71, verso:
        [] It is an euil birde that defiles his owne neſt, []
      • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], OCLC 964384981, Job 16:15, column 1:
        I have ſowed ſackcloth vpon my ſkin, and defiled my horne in the duſt.
      • 1855, William H[ickling] Prescott, “Protestantism in Spain”, in History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King of Spain, volume I, Boston, Mass.: Phillips, Sampson, and Company, OCLC 645131689, book II, page 446:
        Spain might now boast that the stain of heresy no longer defiled the hem of her garment. But at what a price was this purchased!
      • 1887, Robert Louis Stevenson, “A Portrait”, in Underwoods, London: Chatto and Windus, [], OCLC 1039446997, book I (In English), page 63:
        At mankind's feast, I take my place / In solemn, sanctimonious state, / And have the air of saying grace / While I defile the dinner plate.
      • 1911 October, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Journey”, in The Forerunner: A Monthly Magazine, volume II, number 10, New York, N.Y.: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, OCLC 681990253, page 271, column 1:
        “That's only dirt—it will brush off.” But he looked at me with his haggard hopeless eyes and said— “It is mud. Black, slimy, horrible mud. I am defiled.”
    2. To make (someone or something) morally impure or unclean; to corrupt, to tarnish.
    3. To act inappropriately towards or vandalize (something sacred or special); to desecrate, to profane.
      Synonyms: see Thesaurus:desecrate
      Antonyms: hallow, sanctify; see also Thesaurus:consecrate
      To urinate on someone’s grave is an example of a way to defile it.
    4. (religion) To cause (something or someone) to become ritually unclean.
      • 1535 October 14 (Gregorian calendar), Myles Coverdale, transl., Biblia: The Byble, [] (Coverdale Bible), [Cologne or Marburg: Eucharius Cervicornus and J. Soter?], OCLC 79441532, Leuiticus xj:[41 and 43–44], folio xlvi, verso, column 2:
        What ſo euer crepeth vpon earth, ſhall be an abhominacion vnto you, and ſhal not be eaten. [] Make not youre ſoules abhominable, and defyle you not in them, to ſtayne youre ſelues: for I am the LORDE youre God. Therfore ſhal ye ſanctifie youre ſelues, that ye maye be holy, for I am holy. And ye ſhal not defyle youreſelues on eny maner of crepynge beeſt, that crepeth vpon earth: []
      • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], OCLC 964384981, Leviticus 22:8, column 2:
        That which dieth of it ſelfe, or is torne with beaſts, hee ſhall not eate to defile himſelfe therewith: I am the Lord.
    5. (obsolete)
      1. To deprive (someone) of their sexual chastity or purity, often not consensually; to deflower, to rape.
        Synonyms: ravish, violate, (archaic) vitiate
        The serial rapist kidnapped and defiled a six-year-old girl.
        • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], OCLC 964384981, Genesis 34:2, column 2:
          And when Shechem the ſonne of Hamor the Hiuite, prince of the countrey ſaw her [Dinah], he tooke her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
        • 1718, Mat[thew] Prior, “Solomon on the Vanity of the World. A Poem in Three Books.”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: [] Jacob Tonson [], and John Barber [], OCLC 5634253, page 490:
          VVhat Tongue can ſpeak the reſtleſs Monarch's VVoes; / VVhen GOD, and Nathan vvere declar'd his Foes? / VVhen ev'ry Object his Offence revil'd, / The Husband murder'd, and the VVife defil'd, / The Parent's Sins impreſs'd upon the dying Child?
        • 1769, William Blackstone, “Of Offences against the Persons of Individuals”, in Commentaries on the Laws of England, book IV (Of Public Wrongs), Oxford, Oxfordshire: [] Clarendon Press, OCLC 65350522, page 208:
          The ſecond offence, more immediately affecting the perſonal ſecurity of individuals, relates to the female part of his majeſty's ſubjects; being that of their forcible abduction and marriage; which is vulgarly called ſtealing an heireſs. For by ſtatute 3 Hen. VII. c. 2. it is enacted, that if any perſon ſhall for lucre take any woman, maid, widow, or wife, having ſubtance either in goods or lands, or being heir apparent to her anceſtors, contrary to her will; and afterwards ſhe be married to ſuch miſdoer, or by his conſent to others, or defiled; ſuch perſon, and all his acceſſories, ſhall be deemed principal felons: []
      2. To dishonour (someone).
        • c. 1595–1596 (date written), William Shakespeare, A Midsommer Nights Dreame. [] (First Quarto), London: [] [Richard Bradock] for Thomas Fisher, [], published 1600, OCLC 1041029189, [Act III, scene ii]:
          Come recreant, come thou childe, / Ile vvhippe thee vvith a rodde. He is defil'd, / That dravves a ſvvord on thee.
        • 1708 December 15 (Gregorian calendar; date written), [Jonathan Swift], A Letter from a Member of the House of Commons in Ireland to a Member of the House of Commons in England, Concerning the Sacramental Test, London: [] John Morphew [], published 1709, OCLC 1082381029, page 7:
          [H]is Character may be Defiled by ſuch Men and dirty Hands as thoſe of the Obſervator, or ſuch as employ him, []
  2. (intransitive, obsolete)
    1. To become dirty or unclean.
      • 1672 January 16 (Gregorian calendar), Joseph Caryl, “Sermon II”, in The Nature and Principles of Love, as the End of the Commandment. [], London: [] John Hancock, Senior and Junior, [], published 1673, OCLC 1179538319, page 79:
        [Y]ou vvill find if you do not daily ſvveep you houſes, they vvill defile; and the cob-vvebs they vvill grovv; the Spiders vvill be at vvork; and though your hearts be never ſo pure, Spiders vvill creep into them, []
    2. To cause uncleanliness; specifically, to pass feces; to defecate.
Conjugation[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

PIE word
*dwís
A defile (etymology 2, noun sense 1) called the Santo Spirito Gorge in Fara San Martino, Chieti, Italy.

The verb is borrowed from French défiler (to march; to parade), from dé- (prefix indicating actions are done more strongly or vigorously) + one or both of the following:[9]

The noun is borrowed from French défilé (parade, procession), a noun use of the past participle of défiler (verb); see above.[10]

Verb[edit]

defile (third-person singular simple present defiles, present participle defiling, simple past and past participle defiled) (military, also figuratively)

  1. (intransitive, archaic) To march in a single file or line; to file.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To march across (a place) in files or lines.
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

defile (plural defiles)

  1. A narrow passage or way (originally (military), one which soldiers could only march through in a single file or line), especially a narrow gorge or pass between mountains.
  2. (military)
    1. An act of marching in files or lines.
    2. A single file of soldiers; (by extension) any single file.
Alternative forms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
See also[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

The verb is borrowed from French défiler (to arrange soldiers or fortify (something) as a protection from enfilading fire; to unthread) (compare Middle French desfilher (to unthread)), from dé- (prefix meaning ‘not’) + enfiler (to rake with gunfire, enfilade; to string on to a thread; to thread (a needle)) (from en- (prefix meaning ‘in, into; on, on to’) + filer (verb) or file (noun); see etymology 2).[11]

The noun is derived from the verb.[12]

Verb[edit]

defile (third-person singular simple present defiles, present participle defiling, simple past and past participle defiled)

  1. (transitive, military, rare) Synonym of defilade (to fortify (something) as a protection from enfilading fire)
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

defile (plural defiles)

  1. (military, rare) An act of defilading a fortress or other place, or of raising the exterior works in order to protect the interior.
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ dēfīlen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ dēfǒulen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ dēfoilen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 defile, v.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “defile1, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  5. ^ befīlen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  6. ^ befǒulen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  7. ^ fīlen, v.(2)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  8. ^ fǒulen, v.(1)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  9. ^ defile, v.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “defile2, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  10. ^ defile, n.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “defile2, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  11. ^ defile, v.3”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022.
  12. ^ defile, n.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2019.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Indonesian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Internationalism, borrowed from Dutch defilé, from French défilé, from défiler (to march past), from file (file).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /deˈfile/
  • Hyphenation: dé‧fi‧lé
  • Rhymes: -le, -e

Noun[edit]

défilé (plural defile-defile, first-person possessive defileku, second-person possessive defilemu, third-person possessive defilenya)

  1. parade; procession; march-past
    Synonym: parade

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Serbo-Croatian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French défilé.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /defǐleː/
  • Hyphenation: de‧fi‧le

Noun[edit]

defìlē m (Cyrillic spelling дефѝле̄)

  1. march-past

Declension[edit]

References[edit]

  • defile” in Hrvatski jezični portal