Rank and 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.

Synonyms:
, (including corporals)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • rank and file — ˌrank and ˈfile noun the rank and file the ordinary members of a union, who are not union officials: • So far, leaders are maintaining discipline among the rank and file. rank and file adjective [only before a noun] : • rank and file union… …   Financial and business terms

  • rank-and-file — ˌrank and ˈfile noun the rank and file the ordinary members of a union, who are not union officials: • So far, leaders are maintaining discipline among the rank and file. rank and file adjective [only before a noun] : • rank and file union… …   Financial and business terms

  • rank and file — {n. phr.} Ordinary people; the regular membership of an organization; the enlisted privates in the Army. * /The general usually inspects the rank and file on specific national holidays./ * /The secretary of the association sends letters annually… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • rank and file — {n. phr.} Ordinary people; the regular membership of an organization; the enlisted privates in the Army. * /The general usually inspects the rank and file on specific national holidays./ * /The secretary of the association sends letters annually… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • Rank and file — Rank Rank, n. [OE. renk, reng, OF. renc, F. rang, fr. OHG. hring a circle, a circular row, G. ring. See {Ring}, and cf. {Range}, n. & v.] 1. A row or line; a range; an order; a tier; as, a rank of osiers. [1913 Webster] Many a mountain nigh… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Rank and File — Жанр альт кантри каупанк пост панк новая волна Годы 1981 1987 …   Википедия

  • rank and file — n the rank and file the ordinary members of an organization rather than the leaders ▪ The rank and file of the party had lost confidence in the leadership. >rank and file adj [only before noun] ▪ the rank and file members of the trade union …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • rank-and-file — adjective rank and file members of the party Thesaurus: general words used to describe rank and statushyponym from an upper class familysynonym Main entry: rank and file …   Useful english dictionary

  • rank´-and-file´ — rank and file, 1. a) common soldiers, not officers, especially those with the rank of corporal or below; ranks. b) the people in a business, labor union, political party, or other institution or group, who are not a part of the management. »Labor …   Useful english dictionary

  • rank and file — rank′ and file′ n. 1) cvb the members of any organization, esp. a union, apart from its leaders or officers 2) cvb mil rank I, 6), a) • Etymology: 1590–1600 rank′ and file′, adj. rank′ and fil′er, n …   From formal English to slang

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