On file
File File (f[imac]l), n. [F. file row (cf. Pr., Sp., Pg., & It. fila), LL. fila, fr. L. filum a thread. Cf. {Enfilade}, {Filament}, {Fillet}.] 1. An orderly succession; a line; a row; as: (a) (Mil.) A row of soldiers ranged one behind another; -- in contradistinction to {rank}, which designates a row of soldiers standing abreast; a number consisting the depth of a body of troops, which, in the ordinary modern formation, consists of two men, the battalion standing two deep, or in two ranks. [1913 Webster]

Note: The number of files in a company describes its width, as the number of ranks does its depth; thus, 100 men in ``fours deep'' would be spoken of as 25 files in 4 ranks. --Farrow. (b) An orderly collection of papers, arranged in sequence or classified for preservation and reference; as, files of letters or of newspapers; this mail brings English files to the 15th instant. (c) The line, wire, or other contrivance, by which papers are put and kept in order. [1913 Webster]

It is upon a file with the duke's other letters. --Shak. (d) A roll or list. ``A file of all the gentry.'' --Shak.

2. Course of thought; thread of narration. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Let me resume the file of my narration. --Sir H. Wotton. [1913 Webster]

3. (computers) a collection of data on a digital recording medium treated as a unit for the purpose of recording, reading, storage, or indexing; -- such a file is typically accessible by computer programs by the use of a file name. The data may be of any type codable digitally, such as simple ASCII-coded text, complex binary-coded data, or an executable program, or may be itself a collection of other files. [PJC]

{File firing}, the act of firing by file, or each file independently of others.

{File leader}, the soldier at the front of any file, who covers and leads those in rear of him.

{File marching}, the marching of a line two deep, when faced to the right or left, so that the front and rear rank march side by side. --Brande & C.

{Indian file}, or {Single file}, a line of people marching one behind another; a single row. Also used adverbially; as, to march Indian file.

{On file}, preserved in an orderly collection; recorded in some database.

{Rank and file}. (a) The body of soldiers constituting the mass of an army, including corporals and privates. --Wilhelm. (b) Those who constitute the bulk or working members of a party, society, etc., in distinction from the leaders. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • on file — {adv. phr.} Placed in a written or electronic file; on record. * /We are sorry we cannot hire you right now but we will keep your application on file./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • on file — {adv. phr.} Placed in a written or electronic file; on record. * /We are sorry we cannot hire you right now but we will keep your application on file./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • on file — phrasal in or as if in a file for ready reference …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • File — (f[imac]l), n. [F. file row (cf. Pr., Sp., Pg., & It. fila), LL. fila, fr. L. filum a thread. Cf. {Enfilade}, {Filament}, {Fillet}.] 1. An orderly succession; a line; a row; as: (a) (Mil.) A row of soldiers ranged one behind another; in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • File firing — File File (f[imac]l), n. [F. file row (cf. Pr., Sp., Pg., & It. fila), LL. fila, fr. L. filum a thread. Cf. {Enfilade}, {Filament}, {Fillet}.] 1. An orderly succession; a line; a row; as: (a) (Mil.) A row of soldiers ranged one behind another; in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • File leader — File File (f[imac]l), n. [F. file row (cf. Pr., Sp., Pg., & It. fila), LL. fila, fr. L. filum a thread. Cf. {Enfilade}, {Filament}, {Fillet}.] 1. An orderly succession; a line; a row; as: (a) (Mil.) A row of soldiers ranged one behind another; in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • File marching — File File (f[imac]l), n. [F. file row (cf. Pr., Sp., Pg., & It. fila), LL. fila, fr. L. filum a thread. Cf. {Enfilade}, {Filament}, {Fillet}.] 1. An orderly succession; a line; a row; as: (a) (Mil.) A row of soldiers ranged one behind another; in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • File — File, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Filed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Filing}.] 1. To set in order; to arrange, or lay away, esp. as papers in a methodical manner for preservation and reverence; to place on file; to insert in its proper place in an arranged body… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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