Definition of file noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//faɪl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//faɪl//
    In the office, Using a computer
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  1. 1  a box or folded piece of card for keeping loose papers together and in order a box file A stack of files awaited me on my desk. See related entries: In the office
  2. 2  a collection of information stored together in a computer, under a particular name to access/copy/create/delete/download/save a file Every file on the same disk must have a different name. see also PDF Wordfindercopy, data, delete, file, folder, icon, menu, open, password, print See related entries: Using a computer
  3. 3  a file and the information it contains, for example about a particular person or subject secret police files Your application will be kept on file (= in a file, to be used later). file on somebody to have/open/keep a confidential file on somebody Police have reopened the file (= have started collecting information again) on the missing girl.
  4. 4 a metal tool with a rough surface for cutting or shaping hard substances or for making them smooth see also nail file
  5. 5a line of people or things, one behind the other They set off in file behind the teacher.
  6. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 3 late Middle English (as a verb meaning ‘string documents on a thread or wire to keep them in order’): from French filer ‘to string’, fil ‘a thread’, both from Latin filum ‘a thread’. Compare with file ‘line’. noun sense 5 late 16th cent.: from French file, from filer ‘to string’. noun sense 4 Old English fīl, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch vijl and German Feile.Extra examples All the details of the transaction are on file. Data has been deleted from this file. Files are transferred between workstations. He had compiled a file of largely circumstantial evidence. I’ll check the files for any information on the case. It is important to update customer files. Personnel files are kept in secure storage. Police have reopened the file on the missing girl. She closed the file and put it aside. She went to the filing cabinet and took out a file. The company keeps secret files on all its employees. The details of the incident will be entered into the file. The file on the murder was closed five years ago. The files are stored in Mac format. The names and addresses are all kept in computer files. The police already have a thick file on that family. The work involves preparing case files and attending court. You need a special password to access this file. Your application will be kept on file. deleting data from a file entering data into a file how to recover deleted files six box files bulging with notes the information contained in the police files the information held in this file to make/​take a back-up file Confidential files on clients are kept for a maximum of three years. Exactly what information is kept in these files? He had prepared a file containing all the evidence. Hospitals would not allow patients access to their own case files. It’s important to update your files regularly. Please add this document to your files. Some of the files had gone missing. The police were accused of keeping secret files on political activists. a file folder a lever arch/​box fileIdioms
    (in) single file (old-fashioned (in) Indian file)
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    (in) one line, one behind the other They made their way in single file along the cliff path.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: file