Meaning of PILE in English
I. pile 1 S2 /paɪl/ BrE AmE noun
[ Sense 1-6, 9: Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: French ; Origin: Latin pila ; ⇨ ↑ pillar ]
[ Sense 7: Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: pilus 'hair' ]
[ Sense 8: Language: Old English ; Origin: pil , from Latin pilum 'javelin' ]
[ Sense 10: Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: pila 'ball' ]
1 . ARRANGEMENT OF THINGS [countable] a group of several things of the same type that are put on top of each other SYN stack
His mother came in carrying a pile of ironing in her arms.
Flora shuffled through a pile of magazines.
put something in/into a pile
She tidied up the books and put them in neat piles.
He balanced the plate on the top of a pile of books.
2 . LARGE AMOUNT [countable] a large amount of something arranged in a shape that looks like a small hill
piles of melting snow
All that remained of the old house was a pile of rubble.
Sophie stooped to throw another branch on the pile.
He began to sweep the pieces of glass into a pile.
3 . a pile of something ( also piles of something ) informal a lot of something:
We’ve had piles of letters from viewers.
another pile of directives from the EU
4 . the bottom of the pile British English the weakest or least important position in a society or organization:
I soon discovered I was at the bottom of the pile in the office hierarchy.
She always puts her own needs to the bottom of the pile.
5 . the top of the pile British English the best or highest position in a society or organization:
It’s been 20 years since a British tennis player was at the top of the pile.
6 . HOUSE [countable] a very large old house:
They’ve just bought an 18th-century pile in Surrey.
7 . MATERIAL [uncountable and countable] the soft surface of short threads on a ↑ carpet or some types of cloth
Her feet sank into the thick pile of the rug.
a deep pile carpet
⇨ ↑ nap 1 (2)
8 . POST [countable] technical a heavy wooden, stone, or metal post, used to support something heavy
9 . make a/your pile informal to make a lot of money:
He had made his pile in the wholesale business.
10 . piles [plural] painfully swollen ↑ blood vessel s near a person’s ↑ anus
• • •
▪ pile a group of things of the same type that are put on top of each other:
a huge pile of cardboard boxes
▪ stack a neat pile of things of the same type:
There were stacks of books on the floor.
▪ heap a large messy pile of things:
All his clothes were in a heap on the floor.
▪ mound a pile of something with a round shape:
a small mound of rice on the plate
▪ mountain a very large pile of something with a round shape:
a mountain of dirty laundry waiting to be washed
II. pile 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]
1 . [always + adverb/preposition] to fill a place or container or cover a surface with a large amount of things
pile something into/onto etc something
He piled bread and milk into his basket.
Melissa piled spaghetti onto her plate.
be piled with something
a chair piled with velvet cushions
The room was piled high with boxes (=filled with a lot of boxes) .
2 . ( also pile up ) to arrange things in a pile:
Ma stacked the cups and piled the plates.
pile something on/onto something
She brushed her hair and piled it carefully on top of her head.
pile in ( also pile into something ) phrasal verb
if people pile in, they get into a vehicle very quickly:
Pierre came to pick them up, and they all piled in.
pile something ↔ on phrasal verb informal
1 . pile it on/pile on the drama to talk about something in a way that makes it seem much worse than it really is SYN exaggerate :
I know I’m piling it on a bit, but there is a serious point to be made.
2 . pile on the pressure/agony to show that you are much better than your opponent in a game:
England piled on the pressure from the start.
3 . pile on the pounds to gain a lot of body weight:
She slimmed down a couple of years ago but has piled on the pounds again.
pile out phrasal verb
if people pile out, they leave a place or get out of a vehicle quickly and in a disorganized way:
Edward parked by the river and we all piled out.
pile up phrasal verb
1 . to increase in quantity or amount, in a way that is difficult to manage:
It wasn’t long before the debts were piling up.
The traffic starts piling up around this time.
The work has a tendency to pile up if I’m not careful.
2 . pile something ↔ up to arrange things in a pile:
tiny doughnuts piled up in a dish
⇨ ↑ pile-up
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012