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defile
used in Leaves of Grass

6 uses
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Definition
to spoil the beauty or purity of something
in various senses, including:
  • pollute a pristine lake
  • harm a reputation or good name
  • damage or disrespect something sacred
  • take a person's virginity in a disrespectful way
  • And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
    Book 4 — CHILDREN OF ADAM (15% in)
  • And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
    Book 4 — CHILDREN OF ADAM (15% in)
  • And you, paid to defile the People—you liars, mark!
    Book 20 — BY THE ROADSIDE (22% in)
  • Jauntily forward they went with quick step toward Gowanus' waters, Till of a sudden unlook'd for by defiles through the woods, gain'd at night, The British advancing, rounding in from the east, fiercely playing their guns, That brigade of the youngest was cut off and at the enemy's mercy.
    Book 21 — DRUM-TAPS (40% in)
  • ...known or unknown, Gone freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young, and with the mothers of families, Read these leaves to myself in the open air, tried them by trees, stars, rivers, Dismiss'd whatever insulted my own soul or defiled my body, Claim'd nothing to myself which I have not carefully claim'd for others on the same terms, Sped to the camps, and comrades found and accepted from every State, (Upon this breast has many a dying soldier lean'd to breathe his last,...
    Book 23 — By Blue Ontario's Shore.... (74% in)
  • I saw the interminable corps, I saw the processions of armies, I saw them approaching, defiling by with divisions, Streaming northward, their work done, camping awhile in clusters of mighty camps.
    Book 24 — AUTUMN RIVULETS (10% in)

There are no more uses of "defile" in Leaves of Grass.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
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