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desecrate, purify, sanctify, cleanse


Discipline and Self-Control, Problems and Conundrums, Vilification and Vitriol, Ending and Conclusion, Environmental Concerns and Ecology, Events and Milestones, Disapproval and Disrespect



How to pronounce defile (audio)


Dictionary definition of defile

To tarnish or corrupt, especially something that is considered pure or innocent.
"The writer's work seemed to defile the literary traditions that preceded it."

Detailed meaning of defile

For example, a person who violates the sanctity of a religious site might be said to defile it. A person who tarnishes the reputation or integrity of another person might also be described as defiling them. The term is often used to describe an action or behavior that is seen as being disrespectful or offensive, and that is therefore considered to be a violation of something that is considered sacred or pure.

Example sentences containing defile

1. The protesters vowed not to defile the monument during their demonstration.
2. The factory's waste continues to defile the river, causing harm to the aquatic life.
3. The young artist was accused of attempting to defile a classic painting with graffiti.
4. They must be careful not to defile the sacred grounds with their construction project.
5. The corrupt politician's actions continue to defile the integrity of the government.
6. The poachers defile the forest by leaving traps and garbage behind.

History and etymology of defile

The verb 'defile' has its etymological origins in Old French and Latin. It is derived from the Old French word 'defouler,' which means 'to trample on' or 'to tread down.' This Old French term is thought to have its roots in the Latin word 'follis,' which means 'bag' or 'bellows,' and was used metaphorically to describe puffing or inflating something. Over time, 'defouler' evolved to encompass the idea of trampling upon or sullying something, especially that which is considered pure or innocent. When it entered English, it became 'defile,' retaining its core meaning of tarnishing or corrupting, often in a moral or ceremonial context. The etymology of 'defile' effectively conveys the concept of polluting or desecrating something that was once untarnished, emphasizing the idea of contamination or impurity.

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Further usage examples of defile

1. The tourists were warned not to defile the ancient ruins by writing or carving on the stones.
2. The soldiers were ordered not to defile the local customs and traditions during their deployment.
3. The vandals defiled the church by spray-painting graffiti on its walls.
4. The local tribe asked visitors to respect and not defile their ancestral land.
5. The logging company's activities defile the natural beauty of the wilderness.
6. The negative campaign ads aim to defile the reputation of the opponent.
7. It is considered disrespectful to defile a flag by letting it touch the ground.
8. The noisy construction work threatened to defile the serene atmosphere of the monastery.
9. The mining operations have the potential to defile the surrounding environment if not managed carefully.
10. Vandalism can defile public spaces and cultural landmarks.
11. They vowed not to let rumors defile their friendship.
12. Pollution continues to defile our planet's natural beauty.
13. Gossip can defile a person's reputation unfairly.
14. The graffiti defiled the pristine walls of the historic building.
15. Ignorance can defile even the noblest of intentions.
16. Hatred and prejudice can defile the harmony of a community.
17. It's essential not to defile the sanctity of a sacred place.
18. Dishonesty can defile the integrity of any organization.
19. War can defile the innocence of a child's perspective.
20. The scandal threatened to defile the politician's career.
21. A single act of cruelty can defile the trust in a relationship.
22. Careless behavior can defile the serenity of a natural habitat.
23. False accusations can defile the lives of innocent individuals.
24. Ignorance can defile the potential for progress and understanding.

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