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

  • noun A post used as a foundation; a pile.
  • noun A wooden plug; a bung.
  • noun A spout used in taking sap from a tree.
  • transitive verb To support with a spile.
  • transitive verb To plug or tap with a spile.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To play.
  • To pierce with a small hole and stop the same with a plug, spigot, or the like: said of a cask of liquid.
  • To set with piles or piling.
  • A dialectal form of spoil.
  • noun A solid wooden plug used as a spigot.
  • noun A wooden or metal spout driven into a sugar-maple tree to eonduct the sap or sugar-water to a pan or bucket placed beneath it; a tapping-gouge.
  • noun In ship-building, a small wooden pin used as a plug for a nail-hole.
  • noun A narrow-pointed wedge used in tubbing.
  • noun A pile: same as pile, 3.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A small plug or wooden pin, used to stop a vent, as in a cask.
  • noun A small tube or spout inserted in a tree for conducting sap, as from a sugar maple.
  • noun A large stake driven into the ground as a support for some superstructure; a pile.
  • noun a small air hole in a cask; a vent.
  • transitive verb To supply with a spile or a spigot; to make a small vent in, as a cask.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A pile; a post or girder.
  • verb To support by means of spiles.
  • verb US, dialect, transitive, intransitive spoil.
  • noun A splinter.
  • noun A spigot or plug used to stop the hole in a barrel or cask.
  • noun US A spout inserted in a maple (or other tree) to draw off sap.
  • verb To plug (a hole) with a spile.
  • verb To draw off (a liquid) using a spile.
  • verb To provide (a barrel, tree etc.) with a spile.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a plug used to close a hole in a barrel or flask
  • noun a column of wood or steel or concrete that is driven into the ground to provide support for a structure


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

[Dutch spijl, wooden pin, from Middle Dutch spīle.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Alteration of pile, after Etymology 1, above.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Alteration of spoil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle Dutch or Middle Low German spile ("splinter, peg"), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *spīlaz (“splinter, peg”), from Proto-Indo-European *spēy- (“prickle, pointed stick”). Cognate with Eastern Frisian spyl, German Speil ("chip, splinter, gore, wedge"), Danish spile.



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  • ...mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads...

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 1

    July 23, 2008

  • "It's that time of year again. We have made maple syrup and sometimes wine every year since we have lived out here. This year we tapped 23 Silver Maple trees and just started collecting the sap.

    This nifty gadget is called a spile and fits into a hole drilled into the tree. The hook on top allows a bucket or sap sack to be hung directly from it."

    - Jack Schmidling, 'Maple Syrup',

    October 21, 2008

  • piles of spile

    June 14, 2012