To file is to submit an application or a record to some official authority, like a court, police station, or city hall. You might file a complaint against your neighbor after he shovels the snow from his driveway into yours.

People file for divorce, file for bankruptcy, and file charges against criminals. You can also file a receipt or a record at home, by putting it in a file folder and then sliding the folder into a file cabinet. When you stand "single file," you're in a line or queue, and if the group moves a few steps, you can say it files forward.

Definitions of file
  1. verb
    record in a public office or in a court of law
    file for divorce”
    file a complaint”
    synonyms: register
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    register the trademark of
    type of:
    record in writing; enter into a book of names or events or transactions
  2. verb
    file a formal charge against
    synonyms: charge, lodge
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    charge (a public official) with an offense or misdemeanor committed while in office
    type of:
    accuse, criminate, impeach, incriminate
    bring an accusation against; level a charge against
  3. noun
    a steel hand tool with small sharp teeth on some or all of its surfaces; used for smoothing wood or metal
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    blunt file
    a file with parallel edges
    flat file
    a file with two flat surfaces
    a small flat file for shaping the nails
    rasp, wood file
    a coarse file with sharp pointed projections
    rat-tail file
    a thin round file shaped like the tail of a rat
    round file
    a file with a circular cross section; used to file the inside of holes
    taper file
    a file with converging edges
    type of:
    hand tool
    a tool used with workers' hands
  4. verb
    smooth with a file
    file one's fingernails”
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    type of:
    smooth, smoothen
    make smooth or smoother, as if by rubbing
  5. noun
    a set of related records (either written or electronic) kept together
    synonyms: data file
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    Combined DNA Index System
    the DNA file maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
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    computer file
    (computer science) a file maintained in computer-readable form
    mug book, mug file
    a file of mug shots (pictures of criminals that are kept on file by the police)
    tickler, tickler file
    a file of memoranda or notices that remind of things to be done
    backup file
    (computer science) a computer file dedicated to storing and updating computer backups
    binary file
    (computer science) a computer file containing machine-readable information that must be read by an application; characters use all 8 bits of each byte
    main file, master file
    (computer science) a computer file that is used as the authority in a given job and that is relatively permanent
    disk file
    (computer science) a computer file stored on a magnetic disk and identified by a unique label
    detail file, transaction file
    (computer science) a computer file containing relatively transient data about a particular data processing task
    input data, input file
    (computer science) a computer file that contains data that serve as input to a device or program
    output file
    (computer science) a computer file that contains data that are the output of a device or program
    read-only file
    (computer science) a file that you can read but cannot change
    document, text file
    (computer science) a computer file that contains text (and possibly formatting instructions) using seven-bit ASCII characters
    type of:
    anything (such as a document or a phonograph record or a photograph) providing permanent evidence of or information about past events
  6. noun
    office furniture consisting of a container for keeping papers in order
    synonyms: file cabinet, filing cabinet
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    card catalog, card catalogue, card index
    an alphabetical listing of items (e.g., books in a library) with a separate card for each item
    vertical file
    a file in which records are stored upright on one edge
    (trademark) a desktop rotary card index with removable cards; usually used for names, addresses, and telephone numbers
    type of:
    office furniture
    furniture intended for use in an office
  7. verb
    place in a container for keeping records
    File these bills, please”
    synonyms: file away
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    type of:
    enter, put down, record
    make a record of; set down in permanent form
  8. verb
    proceed in line
    “The students filed into the classroom”
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    type of:
    march, process
    march in a procession
  9. noun
    a line of persons or things ranged one behind the other
    synonyms: Indian file, single file
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    snake dance
    a group advancing in a single-file serpentine path
    a line of units following one after another
    type of:
    a formation of people or things one behind another
Word Family
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