1. A quantity of objects stacked or thrown together in a heap. See Synonyms at heap.
a. A large accumulation or quantity: a pile of work to do.
b. A large amount of money: made a pile in the real estate boom.
3. A nuclear reactor.
4. A voltaic pile.
5. A very large building or complex of buildings.
6. A funeral pyre.
v.piled, pil·ing, piles
a. To place or lay in a pile or heap: piled books onto the table.
b. To load (something) with a heap or pile: piled the table with books.
2. To add or increase to abundance or to a point of burdensomeness: piled homework on the students.
1. To form a heap or pile.
2. To move in, out, or forward in a disorderly mass or group: pile into a bus; pile out of a car.
1. To leap onto an existing pile of people, especially football players.
2. To add or increase (something, such as criticism) abundantly or excessively.
1. To accumulate: Work is piling up.
2. Informal To undergo a serious vehicular collision.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pīla, pillar.]
1. A heavy post of timber, concrete, or steel, driven into the earth as a foundation or support for a structure.
2. Heraldry A wedge-shaped charge pointing downward.
3. A Roman javelin.
1. To drive piles into.
2. To support with piles.
[Middle English, from Old English pīl, shaft, stake, from Latin pīlum, spear, pestle.]
a. Cut or uncut loops of yarn forming the surface of certain fabrics, such as velvet, plush, and carpeting.
b. The surface so formed.
2. Soft fine hair, fur, or wool.
[From Middle English piles(attested only in plural) downy hair, downy plumage, partly from Anglo-Norman peil, pil, hair, coat (as of a horse), cloth with a thick nap, and partly from Latin pilus, hair (Anglo-Norman, from Latin).]
1. a collection of objects laid on top of one another or of other material stacked vertically; heap; mound
2. informal a large amount of money (esp in the phrase make a pile)
3. (often plural) informal a large amount: a pile of work.
4. a less common word for pyre
5. a large building or group of buildings
6. (General Physics) short for voltaic pile
7. (General Physics) physics a structure of uranium and a moderator used for producing atomic energy; nuclear reactor
8. (Metallurgy) metallurgy an arrangement of wrought-iron bars that are to be heated and worked into a single bar
9. (Archery) the point of an arrow
10. (often foll by up) to collect or be collected into or as if into a pile: snow piled up in the drive.
11. (intr; foll by in, into, off, out, etc) to move in a group, esp in a hurried or disorganized manner: to pile off the bus.
12. (Military) pile arms to prop a number of rifles together, muzzles together and upwards, butts forming the base
13. pile it on informal to exaggerate
[C15: via Old French from Latin pīla stone pier]
1. (Civil Engineering) a long column of timber, concrete, or steel that is driven into the ground to provide a foundation for a vertical load (a bearing pile) or a group of such columns to resist a horizontal load from earth or water pressure (a sheet pile)
2. (Heraldry) heraldry an ordinary shaped like a wedge, usually displayed point-downwards
3. (Civil Engineering) to drive (piles) into the ground
4. (Civil Engineering) to provide or support (a structure) with piles
[Old English pīl, from Latin pīlum]
a. the yarns in a fabric that stand up or out from the weave, as in carpeting, velvet, flannel, etc
b. one of these yarns
2. (Textiles) soft fine hair, fur, wool, etc
[C15: from Anglo-Norman pyle, from Latin pilus hair]
n., v. piled, pil•ing.n.
1. an assemblage of things laid or lying one upon the other: a pile of papers.
2. a large number, quantity, or amount of anything: a pile of work.
3. a heap of wood on which a dead body, a living person, or a sacrifice is burned; pyre.
4. a lofty or large building or group of buildings: the noble pile of Windsor Castle.
5. Informal. a large accumulation of money.
6. reactor (def. 3).
7. voltaic pile.v.t.
8. to lay or dispose in a pile: to pile up leaves.
9. to accumulate or store (often fol. by up): to pile up money.
10. to cover or load with a pile.v.i.
11. to accumulate, as money, debts, evidence, etc. (usu. fol. by up).
12. to move as a group in a more or less disorderly cluster.
13. to gather or rise in a pile (often fol. by up).
[1350–1400; < Middle French < Latin pīla pillar, mole of stone]
n., v. piled, pil•ing.n.
1. a cylindrical or flat member of wood, steel, concrete, etc., hammered vertically into soil to form part of a foundation or retaining wall.
2. a triangular heraldic charge.
3. the sharp head or striking end of an arrow.v.t.
4. to drive piles into.
[before 1000; Middle English; Old English pīl shaft < Latin pīlum javelin]
1. a surface or thickness of soft hair, down, wool, or other pelage.
2. a soft or brushy surface on cloth, rugs, etc., formed by upright yarns that have been cut straight across or left standing in loops.
[1300–50; Middle English piles hair, plumage < Latin pilus hair]
n. Usu., piles.
[1375–1425; late Middle English pyles (pl.) < Latin pilae literally, balls. See pill1]
Pilea disordered heap of things; a large clump or collection of things; a heap of wood or faggots; a lofty mass of buildings.
Examples: pile of dead carcasses, 1656; of clothes, 1440; of clouds, 1812; of conjectures, 1835; of faggots, 1902; of islands; of justice, 1770; of letters and packages, 1891; of money, 1876; of shot; of stones; of trees, 1854; of wealth, 1613; of weapons, 1608; of wood, 1744.