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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.

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)

[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 shape

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.

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)
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