Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “file”

See all translations

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.
More examples

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.

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.

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).

file noun (TOOL)

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. [T] specialized law to officially record something, especially in a law court: The police filed charges against the two suspects. [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.
More examples

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.

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.
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

luck

the force that causes things, especially good things, to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your own efforts or abilities

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

flower beard noun

January 19, 2015
a beard adorned with flowers And some of said beard-rockers are even turning it up a notch, painting trend on top of trend with what’s come to be known as ‘the flower beard.’

Read More