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de·file 1

tr.v. de·filed, de·fil·ing, de·files
1. To make filthy or dirty; pollute: defile a river with sewage.
2. To debase the pureness or excellence of; corrupt: a country landscape that was defiled by urban sprawl.
3. To profane or sully (a reputation, for example).
4. To make unclean or unfit for ceremonial use; desecrate: defile a temple.
5. To have sexual intercourse with (a woman who is a virgin).

[Middle English defilen, alteration (influenced by filen, to befoul, from Old English fȳlan; see pū̆- in Indo-European roots) of defoulen, to trample on, abuse, pollute, from Old French defouler, to trample, full cloth : de-, de- + fouler, to trample, beat down; see full2.]

de·file′ment n.
de·fil′er n.

de·file 2

intr.v. de·filed, de·fil·ing, de·files
To move in single file or in files or columns: The soldiers defiled from the fort, arms raised in surrender.
1. A narrow gorge or pass that restricts lateral movement, as of troops.
2. A march in a line.

[French défiler : dé-, away, off (from Old French de-; see de-) + file, line, file (from Old French filer, to spin thread, march in line; see file1). N., from French défilé, from past participle of défiler.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.defiled - morally blemished; stained or impure
impure - (used of persons or behaviors) immoral or obscene; "impure thoughts"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


2. desecrated, violated, contaminate d, abused, pollute d, profaned, dishonoured, despoiled, blasphemed Their place of worship is regularly defiled by vandals.
3. violated, abused, raped, assaulted, ravished, dishonoured, debauched There lay the victims' bodies, naked and defiled.
violated innocent, pure, chaste
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
References in classic literature ?
That was my ruin, for when I was in the mud I comforted myself with the thought that at other times I was a hero, and the hero was a cloak for the mud: for an ordinary man it was shameful to defile himself, but a hero was too lofty to be utterly defiled, and so he might defile himself.
Whilst Aylward had been speaking, a strong column of archers had defiled through the pass beneath them.
Was it simply that Elizabeth was one of that rare few who can touch pitch and not be defiled?--or was it, I have sometimes wondered, an unconscious and after all a sound casuistry that had saved Elizabeth's soul, an instinctive philosophy that taught her, so to say, to lay a Sigurd's sword between her soul and body, and to argue that nothing can defile the body without the consent of the soul.
Stretched naked on a long table lay the body of Henry Armstrong, the head defiled with blood and clay from a blow with a spade.
The suspect had allegedly defiled the girl at the Rijiyan Zaki area of the Kano metropolis, after he was said to have lured her with a pack of noodles.
The court heard on Thursday that Rwaka defiled the minor contrary on February 20 in Ndhiwa constituency.
The court heard that the medic lured the minor to his house where he defiled her.
She said that the convict, an Anglican priest, defiled the five-year-old when he visited her parents.
KARACHI -- Names of sacred personalities and the Holy Quran were defiled in a mosque belonging to a minority Muslim community in Steel Town, police said on Saturday.
A DRUNKEN Latvian who "defiled the sacred memory" of fallen soldiers by urinating on the Cenotaph has been jailed for four months.
Therefore, it is correct to say that we are defiled by what comes out of us rather than by what we put into ourselves.
We will do what Jews always did when non-Jews defiled the Holies of Israel.