Definitions

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

  • 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 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 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 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 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 break off the awns of (threshed barley).
  • noun Hair.
  • noun Specifically, in hunting, in the plural, the hair or fur of an animal, as the boar, wolf, fox, etc.; hence, hairs collectively; pelage.
  • noun The lay or set of the hair.
  • noun A fiber, as of wool or cotton.
  • noun In entomology, thinly set fine hairs which are ordinarily rather long.
  • noun Nap of a regular and closely set kind, consisting of threads standing close together and shaved off smooth, so as to form a uniform and even surface.
  • A Middle English form of pill.
  • To arrange (spheres) so as to occupy the minimum of volume.
  • To form a pile or heap; often with up: as, his debts piled up.
  • 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.

Etymologies

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

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

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

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").

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.