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[spahyl] /spaɪl/
a peg or plug of wood, especially one used as a spigot.
a spout for conducting sap from the sugar maple.
a heavy wooden stake or pile.
Mining. forepole.
verb (used with object), spiled, spiling.
to stop up (a hole) with a spile or peg.
to furnish with a spigot or spout, as for drawing off a liquid.
to tap by means of a spile.
to furnish, strengthen, or support with spiles or piles.
Origin of spile1
1505-15; < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German spile splinter, peg; cognate with German Speil


[spahyl] /spaɪl/ Dialect
verb (used with or without object), spiled, spiling, noun
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spiles
Historical Examples
  • It's going to be concrete, from the spiles up—there ain't anything like it in the country.

    Calumet 'K' Samuel Merwin
  • It makes all dar stumacs big, like as you seed 'em, and spiles dar 'gestion.

    Among the Pines James R. Gilmore
  • It had been quite recently built, as Tom Gray found upon examining the spiles and comparing their age with those of the lower dam.

  • "John, ye musn't talk so ter th' sarvents; it spiles 'em," said his wife.

    Among the Pines James R. Gilmore
  • Hundreds of twigs of elder have been cut in short lengths, and the pith pushed out, to make “spiles.”

    Trees Every Child Should Know Julia Ellen Rogers
  • Then the spiles were driven in tightly with a wooden mallet.

  • He loaded the kettles, buckets, and spiles and stopped at the spice thicket to cut a bale of twigs as he passed.

    The Harvester Gene Stratton Porter
  • A striped snaik in the morning spiles the rest ov that day for me.

  • There had been a cold snap that froze the sap in the buckets and hung icicles from the spiles.

    In Pastures Green Peter McArthur
  • Then they were to have ready their tapping gouges, their spiles and buckets.

    Algonquin Indian Tales Egerton R. Young
British Dictionary definitions for spiles


a heavy timber stake or pile
(US & Canadian) a spout for tapping sap from the sugar maple tree
a plug or spigot
verb (transitive)
to provide or support with a spile
(US) to tap (a tree) with a spile
(Northern English, dialect) a splinter
Word Origin
C16: probably from Middle Dutch spile peg; related to Icelandic spila skewer, Latin spīna thorn
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
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Word Origin and History for spiles



tap or spout for drawing maple sugar, 1844, from Northern English dialect spile "splinter" (1510s), from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German spile "splinter, skewer, bar, spindle," perhaps related to spike (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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