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

      

    file

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//faɪl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//faɪl//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they file
    BrE BrE//faɪl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//faɪl//
     
    he / she / it files
    BrE BrE//faɪlz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//faɪlz//
     
    past simple filed
    BrE BrE//faɪld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//faɪld//
     
    past participle filed
    BrE BrE//faɪld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//faɪld//
     
    -ing form filing
    BrE BrE//ˈfaɪlɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaɪlɪŋ//
     
    Separation
     
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  1. 1[transitive] to put and keep documents, etc. in a particular place and in a particular order so that you can find them easily; to put a document into a file file something (+ adv./prep.) The forms should be filed alphabetically. Please file it in my ‘Research’ file. file something away I filed the letters away in a drawer.
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] (law) to present something so that it can be officially recorded and dealt with file for something to file for divorce file something to file a claim/complaint/petition/lawsuit file to do something He filed to divorce his wife. See related entries: Separation
  3. 3[transitive] file something (of a journalist) to send a report or a story to your employer
  4. 4[intransitive] + adv./prep. to walk in a line of people, one after the other, in a particular direction The doors of the museum opened and the visitors began to file in.
  5. 5[transitive] file something (away/down, etc.) to cut or shape something or make something smooth using a file to file your nails
  6. Word Originverb 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’. verb sense 4 late 16th cent.: from French file, from filer ‘to string’. verb sense 5 Old English fīl, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch vijl and German Feile.Extra examples A copy of the notice must be filed with the court. He has now formally filed a complaint against the police. She mentally filed the name away for later. The card is filed alphabetically under the name of the editor. The long line of mourners filed silently past. These notes should be carefully filed away for future reference. to file for bankruptcy/​divorce He filed a lawsuit against the company for $100 000 in damages. More than one correspondent filed a story describing the spectacle of a Cruise missile travelling up the street. Please file it in my ‘Research’ folder. She decided to file for divorce. The report was filed away in the archives. Wynne-Jones should be filed under ‘W’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: file