Definition of single file in English:

single file


  • [in singular] A line of people or things arranged one behind another.

    ‘we trooped along in single file’
    [as modifier] ‘a single-file column’
    • ‘After the game, while the Bucs' cheerleaders are celebrating on the field, the Raiderettes walk out in single-file line looking like they're on some kind of a death march.’
    • ‘And as always, please a form a single-file line behind me at all times.’
    • ‘Behind this man, in the background, women dressed in traditional black clothing are assembled in single file lines.’
    • ‘Where it happened the road was only single-file traffic, so we crawled slowly and finished up outside the Hilton Hotel.’
    • ‘So thickly woven was the barrier of trees that military formations dissolved into single-file columns.’
    • ‘On a bright Saturday a few weeks later, the place was crammed with visitors and crawling with baby strollers, and single-file crowds circulated endlessly, chattering, pointing, exclaiming.’
    • ‘When it comes to boarding the Ark, only a few hours would be required for 2,000 animals even assuming single-file entry!’
    • ‘The most recent video installation in this substantial survey was Time Left, a daunting four-wall projection in which floor-to-ceiling rows of tiny single-file figures hold hands and march endlessly in place.’
    • ‘Plant annuals in large blocks of single colors or varieties, instead of single-file rows, for the most dramatic effect.’
    • ‘They played Elvis songs over the loudspeaker and then, the fans were allowed in, in a single-file line.’
    • ‘Seattle's two current runways are too close together to allow simultaneous landings during bad weather, forcing planes to line up in single file to land.’
    • ‘Raising her voice, the woman cried, ‘Make a neat, single-file line and we will get to you as soon as possible!’’
    • ‘Then we were lined up again in single file and tattooed on the forearm.’
    • ‘The children formed their ragged single-file line at the door and silently marched out after their teacher.’
    • ‘They all moved in one, large, single-file line heading east, everyone wearing similar, nondescript black office suits.’
    • ‘The final uphill section of the 181 km stage from Civitavecchia to Tivoli prevented a mass sprint, and cyclists crossed the finish line in single file.’
    • ‘In a single-file line, they went to the cafeteria.’
    • ‘I think the other series, when they ran, until they put these big parachutes behind them, they mostly ran in single-file procession.’
    • ‘In single file the troop left the camp, followed by the sleepy eyes of those left behind, and passed into the shadows of the mountainside woods.’
    • ‘They allow near empty buses to cruise in near empty bus lanes next to single-file jams of nose-to-tail traffic.’


  • One behind another.

    ‘we walked single file’
    • ‘Cameramen laden with heavy equipment stand single-file on the stairs of a Madrid apartment building.’
    • ‘As our party walked single file along a narrow path, one careless step left me being sucked waist deep into mud.’
    • ‘Three men and a woman walked single file towards them.’
    • ‘Four other men came to the tree, and the six lined up single-file.’
    • ‘He blew it once, and we marched single-file into the school, then scrambled down the unlit halls to reach our homerooms before the bell.’
    • ‘Once again, they were walking single file, and he was in the lead.’
    • ‘Gabe and Raj were standing by the door, and when I entered the room we were all ordered to walk outside single file, where we met our friends in the parking lot.’
    • ‘There are many public schools here and school children in brightly coloured uniforms can be seen walking single file along the mountain roads.’
    • ‘They were escorted single-file between sessions.’
    • ‘Fifteen of us walked single file down the large hallway.’
    • ‘Thirteen boys walked to the campfire single-file behind Freddie.’
    • ‘I loved the old brick building in Cranmer Square, notwithstanding that once enrolled there were rules such as no talking or running in the corridors and walking single file.’
    • ‘In another, columns of figures stacked single-file form a striped pattern.’
    • ‘As our group spreads out single-file, I lose sight of everyone except the porter directly in front of me.’
    • ‘For example, we see the children in our neighborhood walking to school single file because The Robot shovels a narrow strip off the sidewalk.’
    • ‘Whenever you went anywhere outside with your friends, you always walked single file, to hide your numbers.’
    • ‘The group got up and grabbed their coats, opening the door they walked out single file to Saul's truck and climbed in for their trek to the mountains.’
    • ‘A troop of seven boars runs single-file across the hill.’
    • ‘We hiked single-file through the varzea, a type of jungle whose undergrowth isn't terribly dense and whose floor lay under water several months each year (it wasn't flooded now).’
    • ‘Matt nodded his head at them as they walked past, single file.’