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1. To remove something with the use of a file. A noun or pronoun can be used between "file" and "away." Is it safe to file away these calluses on my feet?
2. To put paperwork into a designated file and location. A noun or pronoun can be used between "file" and "away." My assistant must have already filed away the paperwork from that meeting—I don't see it here on my desk.
To make a formal legal complaint of wrongdoing or mistreatment against another person. A: "Is it true that Greg filed charges against you?" B: "Yes, but his claim is completely false! I've never done anything to him!" I really hope our neighbors don't file charges against us—I never would have cut down that tree if I had known it was on their property!
To reduce something with the use of a file. A noun or pronoun can be used between "file" and "down." Do you think I can just file down the corn on my foot?
file for (something)
To submit the paperwork for something. The phrase is often used in legal matters. Is it true that Tina filed for divorce?
file in(to something or some place)
To move or process into a place or thing in a line. After being scolded, the kids filed silently into their classroom. Quick, file in before the show starts!
To remove something with the use of a file. A noun or pronoun can be used between "file" and "off." Is it safe to file off these calluses on my feet?
file off (of) (something)
To remove something with the use of a file. A noun or pronoun can be used between "file" and "off." Is it safe to file these calluses off my feet? Someone filed off the serial number of the stolen car, so there's no way to track its original owner.
To move or process out of a place or thing in a line. After the concert ended, everyone filed out, abuzz with excitement.
file out of (something)
To move or process out of a place or thing in a line. After the concert ended, everyone filed out of the stadium, abuzz with excitement.
file past (someone or something)
To move past someone or something in a line. Once all of the third-graders filed past, the fourth-graders followed them out of the church. The bridal party filed past the applauding guests.
file under (something)
To put something, often paperwork, in a file that has a particular name or designation. File these papers under "miscellaneous" for now—we'll get to them later.
See also: file
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
(against someone) Go to press charges (against someone).
file out (of something)
[for a line of people] to move out of something or some place. The people filed quietly out of the theater. They filed out at the end.
file something away (from something)and file something off ((of) something); file something off
to remove something from something else by filing. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The dentist filed the sharp point away from the tooth. The dentist filed away the sharp point from the tooth. The dentist filed the point off.
file something down
to level off a protrusion by filing. File this edge down so no one gets cut on it. Please file down this edge.
file something off
((of) something) Go to file something away (from something).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To rub against something with or as if with a file until it is smooth or gone: I filed the rough skin away with a pumice stone. The foot doctor filed away my bone spurs.
2. To file some document or other material into the appropriate place: The secretary filed the legal documents away. The receptionist filed away the important memos.
To cause wear on something by rubbing against or filing it, reducing its size: I filed down my fingernails before the party. The dentist filed the jagged tooth down.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.