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1 [pahyl]
an assemblage of things laid or lying one upon the other: a pile of papers; a pile of bricks.
Informal. a large number, quantity, or amount of anything: a pile of work.
a heap of wood on which a dead body, a living person, or a sacrifice is burned; pyre.
a lofty or large building or group of buildings: the noble pile of Windsor Castle.
Informal. a large accumulation of money: They made a pile on Wall Street.
a bundle of pieces of iron ready to be welded and drawn out into bars; fagot.
reactor ( def 4 ).
Electricity, voltaic pile.
verb (used with object), piled, piling.
to lay or dispose in a pile (often followed by up ): to pile up the fallen autumn leaves.
to accumulate or store (often followed by up ): to pile up money; squirrels piling up nuts against the winter.
to cover or load with a pile: He piled the wagon with hay.
verb (used without object), piled, piling.
to accumulate, as money, debts, evidence, etc. (usually followed by up ).
Informal. to move as a group in a more or less confused, disorderly cluster: to pile off a train.
to gather, accumulate, or rise in a pile or piles (often followed by up ): The snow is piling up on the roofs.

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French < Latin pīla pillar, mole of stone

1. collection, heap, mass, accumulation, stack, mound, batch.


2 [pahyl]
a cylindrical or flat member of wood, steel, concrete, etc., often tapered or pointed at the lower end, hammered vertically into soil to form part of a foundation or retaining wall.
Heraldry. an ordinary in the form of a wedge or triangle coming from one edge of the escutcheon, from the chief unless otherwise specified.
Archery. the sharp head or striking end of an arrow, usually of metal and of the form of a wedge or conical nub.
verb (used with object), piled, piling.
to furnish, strengthen, or support with piles.
to drive piles into.
in pile, Heraldry. (of a number of charges) arranged in the manner of a pile.

before 1000; Middle English; Old English pīl shaft < Latin pīlum javelin

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pile1 (paɪl)
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.  informal (often plural) a large amount: a pile of work
4.  a less common word for pyre
5.  a large building or group of buildings
6.  short for voltaic pile
7.  physics a structure of uranium and a moderator used for producing atomic energy; nuclear reactor
8.  metallurgy an arrangement of wrought-iron bars that are to be heated and worked into a single bar
9.  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.  pile arms to prop a number of rifles together, muzzles together and upwards, butts forming the base
13.  informal pile it on to exaggerate
[C15: via Old French from Latin pīla stone pier]

pile2 (paɪl)
1.  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 an ordinary shaped like a wedge, usually displayed point-downwards
3.  to drive (piles) into the ground
4.  to provide or support (a structure) with piles
[Old English pīl, from Latin pīlum]

pile3 (paɪl)
1.  textiles
 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.  soft fine hair, fur, wool, etc
[C15: from Anglo-Norman pyle, from Latin pilus hair]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

pile (pīl)
A hemorrhoid.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Crowd-pleasing nachos are a great weeknight meal when piled high with spicy
  chorizo, jalapenos, and creamy guacamole.
Fluffy white azaleas and hydrangeas piled in containers resemble snowballs.
If your desk tends to get piled with stacks of paper, a post-it note might not
  stand out enough to be a good reminder.
The area is piled high with sedimentary rock from the heyday of the dinosaurs.
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