Meaning of PILE in English

I. ˈpīl, esp before pause or consonant -īəl noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, dart, pointed shaft, stake, from Old English pīl; akin to Old High German pfīl dart, arrow, stake; both from a prehistoric West Germanic word borrowed from Latin pilum heavy javelin, pestle — more at pestle

1. : a long slender member usually of timber, steel, or reinforced concrete driven into the ground to carry a vertical load, to resist a lateral force, or to resist water or earth pressure — see batter pile , bearing pile , sheet pile

2. : a wedge-shaped heraldic charge usually placed palewise with the broad end up

3. : a pointed blade of grass


a. : a target-shooting arrowhead without cutting edges that is usually cylindrical or conoidal in shape and either pointed or blunt — called also point, tip


[Latin pilum ]

: an ancient Roman foot soldier's heavy javelin

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English pilen, from pile (I)

: to drive piles into : fill, support, or strengthen with piles

III. adjective

Etymology: pile (I)

: relating to or used as a pile : formed of or supported on piles

a pile road

IV. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English

obsolete : a small fortified tower ; especially : peel

V. ˈpīl, esp before pause or consonant -īəl noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin pila pillar, pier, mole of stone

1. obsolete : a pier of a bridge


a. : a quantity of things heaped together or laid one on top of the other

a pile of dishes

a small pile of clothes on a chair — Arnold Bennett

a pile of wood by the fireplace


(1) obsolete : a series of weights fitting together and forming a solid figure usually a cone

(2) : a heap usually of wood for burning a corpse or a sacrifice : pyre

(3) : a stack of arms

(4) : fagot 3

b. : any great number or large quantity : heap , lot

had had a pile of troubles in his lifetime

anyone who wants to teach has to take piles of their education courses — W.L.Miller

piles of good things to eat, fish, meat, fowls, vegetables — Stringfellow Barr


a. : the lower die of an old English apparatus for striking coins by hand with a hammer — compare trussell

b. : the reverse of a coin

4. : a large often imposing building or group of buildings

a Gothic pile

contrast between the vast pile of the cathedral and the pigmy men in the street — H.J.Laski

a great pile of houses, inhabited by a great number of people — Charles Dickens


a. : a great amount of money : fortune

one went to the city … made one's pile and married — Van Wyck Brooks

b. : all the money or chips a player has available for play in a particular game or at a particular juncture in a game


a. : a vertical series of alternate disks of two dissimilar metals (as copper and zinc) with disks of cloth or paper moistened with an electrolyte between them for producing a current of electricity — called also voltaic pile, Volta's pile

b. : a battery made up of cells similarly constructed

a dry pile

7. : reactor

VI. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English pilen, from pile (V)

transitive verb


a. : to lay or place in or as if in a pile : put or throw on top of a heap : stack — often used with on or up

sand dunes piled up by the winds — Samuel Van Valkenburg & Ellsworth Huntington

her black hair cut in a straight fringe … and piled up on top of her head — Edith Sitwell

b. : to place (as weapons) so as to be easily available

outside the station we piled arms and waited — John Sommerfield

c. : to form a fagot of (lengths of iron)

2. : to heap in abundance : load

piled … the salad on her plate — Hamilton Basso


a. : to add to especially for an intensified effect : increase

I do think he piled the agony up a little too high in that last scene — Frederick Marryat

b. : to build or gather together : amass — usually used with up

piled up a wealth of information on the American Indian — Ruth Underhill

forebears were early settlers … and quickly piled up fortunes — American Guide Series: Maryland

hunting down and piling up quantities of knowledge — E.M.Burns

intransitive verb

1. : to form a pile : accumulate — usually used with up

found the yield of this crop piling up on its hands — C.L.Jones

office work which had piled up for months — D.A.Howarth


a. : to move or press forward in or as if in a mass : crowd

pushing one another … they piled out of the restaurant — Morley Callaghan

our whole party piled into one … compartment — O.S.Nock

b. : to get in, off, or out

he piled quickly into bed

3. : to thicken and accumulate (as ink on printing plates, rollers, or blankets or paint on a brush) instead of transferring or spreading properly

VII. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin pila ball — more at pile VIII

1. : a single hemorrhoid

2. piles plural : hemorrhoids ; also : the condition of one affected with hemorrhoids

is suffering terribly from piles

VIII. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin pilus hair; akin to Latin pilleus, pilleum, pileus felt cap, Greek pilos felt, felt cap, ball, Latin pila ball


a. : hair ; especially : a growth of short fine hair like fur : down

b. : a thick undercoat (as of certain dogs)

c. : a velvety surface of fine hairs on various insects ; collectively : the hairs making up such a surface

2. : a mass of raised loops or tufts covering all or part of a fabric or carpet that is formed by extra warp or weft yarns during the weaving and that produces a soft even compact furry or velvety surface

3. : a quality possessed by bread when the crumb is silky in appearance and texture


a. : yellowish red coloration on wingbows, neck, saddle, back, and flight feathers of various white domestic fowls that is a disqualification in standard breeds but characteristic of some game types

b. : a bird colored in this manner

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.