in single file

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in single file

In a line one person or one thing in width. The students lined up and walked in single file into the auditorium. Cyclists are reminded to please ride in single file on roads to avoid obstructing traffic.
See also: file, single

*in (a) single file

Fig. lined up, one behind the other; in a line, one person or one thing wide. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~; march ~; walk ~.) Have you ever seen ducks walking in single file? Please get into single file. Please march in single file.
See also: file, single

single file, in

Also, in Indian file. Aligned one behind the other, as in We have to bike in single file here, or The children were told to march in Indian file. Both usages are associated with military formations; the first term was first recorded in 1670; the variant, alluding to the usual marching order of Native Americans, was first recorded in 1758.
See also: single