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

baby

a very young child, especially one that has not yet begun to walk or talk

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More