Defile, Defilement - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Defile, Defilement

[ A-1,Verb,G2840, koinoo ]
(a) to make common;" hence, in a ceremonial sense, "to render unholy, unclean, to defile," Matthew 15:11, Matthew 15:18, Matthew 15:20; Mark 7:15, Mark 7:18, Mark 7:20, Mark 7:23; Acts 21:28 (RV, "defiled;" AV, "polluted"); Hebrews 9:13 (RV, "them that have been defiled," AV, "the unclean");
(b) "to count unclean," Acts 10:15; Acts 11:9. In Revelation 21:27, some mss. have this verb, "defileth;" the most authentic have the adjective, koinos, "unclean." See CALL, COMMON.

[ A-2,Verb,G3392, miano ]
primarily, "to stain, to tinge or dye with another color," as in the staining of a glass, hence, "to pollute, contaminate, soil, defile," is used
(a) of "ceremonial defilement," John 18:28; so in the Sept., in Leviticus 22:5, Leviticus 22:8; Numbers 19:13, Numbers 19:20 etc.;
(b) of "moral defilement," Titus 1:15 (twice); Hebrews 12:15, "of moral and physical defilement," Jude 1:8. See B, Nos. 1 and 2.

[ A-3,Verb,G3435, moluno ]
properly denotes "to besmear," as with mud or filth, "to befoul." It is used in the figurative sense, of a conscience "defiled" by sin, 1 Corinthians 8:7; of believers who have kept themselves (their "garments") from "defilement," Revelation 3:4, and those who have not "soiled" themselves by adultery or fornication, Revelation 14:4.

Note: The difference between miaino and moluno is that the latter is not used in a ritual or ceremonial sense, as miaino is (Trench, Syn. xxxi).

[ A-4,Verb,G4695, spiloo ]
"to make a stain or spot," and so "to defile," is used in James 3:6 of the "defiling" effects of an evil use of the tongue; in Jude 1:23, "spotted," with reference to moral "defilement." See SPOT.


(1) Cp. spilos, "a spot, a moral blemish," Ephesians 5:27; 2 Peter 2:13; aspilos, "without spot, spotless," 1 Timothy 6:14; James 1:27; 1 Peter 1:19; 2 Peter 3:14; spilas, Jude 1:12, "hidden rocks," RV (AV "spots," a late meaning, equivalent to spilos).

[ A-5,Verb,G5351, phtheiro ]
See CORRUPT, A, No. 2.

[ B-1,Noun,G3393, miasma ]
whence the Eng. word, denotes "defilement" (akin to A, No. 2), and is found in 2 Peter 2:20, AV, "pollutions," RV, "defilements," the vices of the ungodly which contaminate a person in his intercourse with the world.

[ B-2,Noun,G3394, miasmos ]
also akin to A, No. 2, primarily denotes "the act of defiling," the process, in contrast to the "defiling" thing (No. 1). It is found in 2 Peter 2:10 (AV, "uncleanness," RV, "defilement.")

[ B-3,Noun,G3436, molusmos ]
akin to A, No. 3, denotes "defilement," in the sense of an action by which anything is "defiled," 2 Corinthians 7:1. Cp. the synonymous word spilos, A, No. 4, Note.

[ C-1,Adjective,G2839, koinos ]
akin to A, No. 1, common, and, from the idea of coming into contact with everything, "defiled," is used in the ceremonial sense in Mark 7:2; in Mark 7:5, RV, "defiled," for AV, "unwashen" (the verb is used in Mark 7:15). See COMMON, UNCLEAN.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words