Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “file”

file

noun uk   /faɪl/ us  

file noun (CONTAINER)

A2 [C or U] any of several different types of container used to store papers, letters, and other documents in an ordered way, especially in an office: a box/envelope file secret/confidential/personnel files You'll find it in the files under "C". We keep your records on file for five years.Office equipmentCommunicating by telephonePaper and stationery

file noun (WRITTEN RECORD)

[C] written records that are kept about a particular person or subject: The police have opened a file on local burglaries.Information and messages

file noun (COMPUTER)

A2 [C] information stored on a computer as one unit with one name: What's the file name? I'm going to copy/save this file.Computer concepts

file noun (LINE)

[C or U] a long line of people or animals, one behind another: They were horrified to see files of ants marching through the kitchen. They walked in (single) file (= one behind another).Things collected in lines or rings

file noun (TOOL)

[C] a thin, flat or rounded metal tool with rough surfaces for rubbing wooden or metal objects to make them smooth or to change their shapeToolsGardening toolsCarpentry and joinery

file

verb uk   /faɪl/ us  

file verb (STORE/RECORD INFORMATION)

[T] to store information in a careful and particular way: We file these reports (= put them in a file) under country of origin.Office practicesClassifying and creating order [T] specialized law to officially record something, especially in a law court: The police filed charges against the two suspects.Court cases, orders and decisions [T] News reporters file a story by sending it to their office, usually by phone, email, or other electronic method: Our foreign correspondent filed this report earlier today.The press and news reporting

file verb (WALK IN A LINE)

[I usually + adv/prep] to walk in a line, one behind another: The visitors filed through the entrance to the ticket offices.Walking and walkers

file verb (TOOL)

[I + adv/prep, T] to use a file in order to make an object smooth or to change its shape: File (down) the sharp edges. [+ obj + adj ] The surface had been filed smooth. She filed her nails.Making things more or less smooth or straight
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of file from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of file?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “file” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

scrumpy

an alcoholic drink made from apples

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More