from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A heavy beam of timber, concrete, or steel, driven into the earth as a foundation or support for a structure.
  • noun Heraldry A wedge-shaped charge pointing downward.
  • noun A Roman javelin.
  • transitive verb To drive piles into.
  • transitive verb To support with piles.
  • noun Cut or uncut loops of yarn forming the surface of certain fabrics, such as velvet, plush, and carpeting.
  • noun The surface so formed.
  • noun Soft fine hair, fur, or wool.
  • noun A quantity of objects stacked or thrown together in a heap. synonym: heap.
  • noun A large accumulation or quantity.
  • noun A large amount of money.
  • noun A nuclear reactor.
  • noun A voltaic pile.
  • noun A very large building or complex of buildings.
  • noun A funeral pyre.
  • intransitive verb To place or lay in a pile or heap.
  • intransitive verb To load (something) with a heap or pile.
  • intransitive verb To add or increase to abundance or to a point of burdensomeness.
  • intransitive verb To form a heap or pile.
  • intransitive verb To move in, out, or forward in a disorderly mass or group.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To furnish with a pile or head.
  • To furnish, strengthen, or support with piles; drive piles into.
  • To lay or throw into a heap; heap, or heap up; collect into a pile or mass: as, to pile wood or stones.
  • To bring into an aggregate; accumulate: as, to pile quotations or comments.
  • Same as fagot, 2
  • noun The pointed head of a staff, pike, arrow, or the like, when not barbed, generally of a rounded form and serving as a ferrule; also, an arrow.
  • noun A javelin.
  • noun [The above is an imitation of the following passage:
  • noun A pointed stake; specifically, in architecture and engineering, a beam, heavy, generally of timber, often the roughly trimmed trunk of a tree, pointed or not at the end and driven into the soil for the support of some superstructure or to form part of a wall, as of a Coffer-dam or quay.
  • noun A post such as that used in the exercise of the quintain.
  • noun A heap consisting of an indefinite number of separate objects, commonly of the same kind, arranged of purpose or by natural causes in a more or less regular (cubical, pyramidal, cylindrical, or conical) form; a large mass, or a large quantity: as, a pile of stones; a pile of wood; a pile of money or of grain.
  • noun Specifically A funeral pile; a pyre. See funeral pile, under funeral.
  • noun An oblong rectangular mass of cut lengths of puddled bars of iron, laid together and ready for being rolled after being raised to a welding-temperature in a reheating-furnace.
  • noun In electricity, a series of plates of two dissimilar metals, such as copper and zinc, laid one above the other alternately, with cloth or paper placed between each pair, moistened with an acid solution, for producing a current of electricity. See electricity.
  • noun A large amount of money: a fortune: as, he has made his pile.
  • To furnish with pile; make shaggy.
  • To break off the awns of (threshed barley).
  • A Middle English form of pill.
  • noun A pillar; specifically, a small pillar of iron, en- graved on the top with the image to be given to the under side of a coin stamped upon it; hence, the under side or reverse of the coin itself: opposed to the cross.
  • noun A tower or castle: same as peel.
  • noun A large building or mass of buildings of stone or brick; a massive edifice: as, a noble pile; a venerable pile.
  • noun A pyramid; a pyramidal figure; specifically, in heraldry, a bearing consisting of a pyramidal or wedge-shaped figure (generally assumed to represent an arrow-head), which, unless otherwise blazoned, seems to emerge from the top of the escutcheon with its point downward. It is usually considered one of the subordinaries, but by some authors as an ordinary. See pile, 1, and phrases below.
  • noun Hair.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English pīl, shaft, stake, from Latin pīlum, spear, pestle.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Middle English piles, hair, plumage, probably from Middle Dutch pijl, fine hair, and Middle Low German pile, downy plumage, both from Latin pilus, hair.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pīla, pillar.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Apparently from Late Latin pilus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English pīl, from Latin pīlum. Cognate with Dutch pijl, German Pfeil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Partly from Anglo-Norman pil (a variant of peil, poil ("hair")) and partly from its source, Latin pilus ("hair").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French pile, pille, from Latin pīla ("pillar, pier").


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