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
Origin: Old English pil, from Latin pilum 'javelin'
Sense: 10
Date: 1400-1500
Language: Latin
Origin: pila 'ball'


1 noun
Related topics: Civil, Material, Textiles
pile1 S2

arrangement of things

[countable] a group of several things of the same type that are put on top of each other [= stack]
pile of
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.

large amount

[countable] a large amount of something arranged in a shape that looks like a small hill
pile of
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.

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

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.

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.


[countable] a very large old house:
They've just bought an 18th-century pile in Surrey.


[uncountable and countable]TIM the soft surface of short threads on a carpet or some types of cloth
thick/deep pile
Her feet sank into the thick pile of the rug.
a deep pile carpet
nap1 (2)


[countable]TBCTEC technical a heavy wooden, stone, or metal post, used to support something heavy

make a/your pile

informal to make a lot of money:
He had made his pile in the wholesale business.


[plural] painfully swollen blood vessels near a person's anus

Dictionary results for "pile"
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