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heap

[heep]
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noun
  1. a group of things placed, thrown, or lying one on another; pile: a heap of stones.
  2. Informal. a great quantity or number; multitude: a heap of people.
  3. Slang. an automobile, especially a dilapidated one.
verb (used with object)
  1. to gather, put, or cast in a heap; pile (often followed by up, on, together, etc.).
  2. to accumulate or amass (often followed by up or together): to heap up riches.
  3. to give, assign, or bestow in great quantity; load (often followed by on or upon): to heap blessings upon someone; to heap someone with work.
  4. to load, supply, or fill abundantly: to heap a plate with food.
verb (used without object)
  1. to become heaped or piled, as sand or snow; rise in a heap or heaps (often followed by up).
Idioms
  1. all of a heap, Informal.
    1. overwhelmed with astonishment; amazed: We were struck all of a heap upon hearing of their divorce.
    2. suddenly; abruptly: All of a heap the room was empty.

Origin of heap

before 900; 1925–30 for def 3; Middle English heep, Old English hēap; cognate with Dutch hoop, Old High German houf; akin to German Haufe
Related formsheap·er, nounheap·y, adjectiveo·ver·heap, verb (used with object)un·heaped, adjective

Synonyms

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1. mass, stack; accumulation, collection.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for heaps

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Of course it did not do any good, and he knew that, but he considered it was heaps of satisfaction.

    Johnny Bear

    E. T. Seton

  • The embassy occupies but one of them, where it heaps up its dusty archives.

  • When you let him in he curls into heaps of joy, and fairly stands on his head sometimes.

    Concerning Cats

    Helen M. Winslow

  • It is a joy to look upon the heaps of slain when all is done.

  • Where there had been shops and hotels, there were now heaps of rubble and calcined bricks.

    Changing Winds</p>

    St. John G. Ervine


British Dictionary definitions for heaps

heap

noun
  1. a collection of articles or mass of material gathered together in one place
  2. (often plural usually foll by of) informal a large number or quantity
  3. give them heaps Australian slang to contend strenuously with an opposing sporting team
  4. give it heaps NZ slang to try very hard
  5. informal a place or thing that is very old, untidy, unreliable, etcthe car was a heap
adverb
  1. heaps (intensifier)he said he was feeling heaps better
verb
  1. (often foll by up or together) to collect or be collected into or as if into a heap or pileto heap up wealth
  2. (tr; often foll by with, on, or upon) to load or supply (with) abundantlyto heap with riches
Derived Formsheaper, noun

Word Origin

Old English héap; related to Old Frisian hāp, Old Saxon hōp, Old High German houf
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for heaps

heap

v.

Old English heapian "collect, heap up, bring together;" from heap (n.). Related: Heaped; heaping. Cf. Old High German houfon "to heap."

heap

n.

Old English heap "pile, great number, multitude" (of things or persons), from West Germanic *haupaz (cf. Old Saxon hop, Old Frisian hap, Middle Low German hupe, Dutch hoop, German Haufe "heap"), perhaps related to Old English heah "high." Slang meaning "old car" is attested from 1924. As a characteristic word in American Indian English speech, "a lot, a great deal," by 1832.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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