The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
File \File\ (f[imac]l), n. [AS. fe['o]l; akin to D. viji, OHG.
f[imac]la, f[imac]hala, G. feile, Sw. fil, Dan. fiil, cf.
Icel. [thorn][=e]l, Russ. pila, and Skr. pi[,c] to cut out,
adorn; perh. akin to E. paint.]
1. A steel instrument, having cutting ridges or teeth, made
by indentation with a chisel, used for abrading or
smoothing other substances, as metals, wood, etc.
Note: A file differs from a rasp in having the furrows made
by straight cuts of a chisel, either single or crossed,
while the rasp has coarse, single teeth, raised by the
pyramidal end of a triangular punch.
2. Anything employed to smooth, polish, or rasp, literally or
Mock the nice touches of the critic's file.
3. A shrewd or artful person. [Slang] --Fielding.
Will is an old file in spite of his smooth face.
Bastard file, Cross file, etc. See under Bastard,
Cross-cut file, a file having two sets of teeth crossing
File blank, a steel blank shaped and ground ready for
cutting to form a file.
File cutter, a maker of files.
Second-cut file, a file having teeth of a grade next finer
Single-cut file, a file having only one set of parallel
teeth; a float.
Smooth file, a file having teeth so fine as to make an
almost smooth surface.