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)
(heraldry) an ordinary shaped like a wedge, usually displayed point-downwards
to drive (piles) into the ground
to provide or support (a structure) with piles
Old English pīl, from Latin pīlum
the yarns in a fabric that stand up or out from the weave, as in carpeting, velvet, flannel, etc
one of these yarns
soft fine hair, fur, wool, etc
C15: from Anglo-Norman pyle, from Latin pilus hair
"mass, heap," early 15c., "pillar, pier of a bridge," from L. pila "stone barrier." Sense development in Latin from "pier, harbor wall of stones," to "something heaped up." In Eng., sense of "heap of things" is attested from mid-15c. (the verb in this sense is recorded from mid-14c.). The meaning "large building" (late 14c.) is probably also derived from this word. Pile on "attack vigorously" is from 1894, Amer.Eng. Pile-up "multi-vehicle crash" first recorded 1929.
"heavy pointed beam," from O.E. pil "stake," also "arrow," from L. pilum heavy javelin of the Roman foot soldier, lit. "pestle" (source of O.N. pila, Ger. Pfeil "arrow"). Pile-driver in the fig. sense of "very strong hit" is recorded from 1958.
"soft, raised surface upon cloth," mid-14c., from Anglo-Norm. pyle or M.Du. pijl, both from L. pilus "hair." Phonological evidence rules out transmission via O.Fr. cognate peil, poil.