View synonyms for heap


[ heep ]


  1. a group of things placed, thrown, or lying one on another; pile:

    a heap of stones.

    Synonyms: collection, accumulation, stack, mass

  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 ).


/ hiːp /


  1. a collection of articles or mass of material gathered together in one place
  2. informal.
    often pluralusually foll byof a large number or quantity
  3. give them heaps slang.
    to contend strenuously with an opposing sporting team
  4. give it heaps slang.
    to try very hard
  5. informal.
    a place or thing that is very old, untidy, unreliable, etc

    the car was a heap


  1. heaps

    he said he was feeling heaps better


  1. often foll byup or together to collect or be collected into or as if into a heap or pile

    to heap up wealth

  2. tr; often foll by with, on, or upon to load or supply (with) abundantly

    to heap with riches

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Derived Forms

  • ˈheaper, noun

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Other Words From

  • heaper noun
  • heapy adjective
  • over·heap verb (used with object)
  • un·heaped adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of heap1

First recorded before 900; 1925–30 heap fordef 3; Middle English heep, Old English hēap; cognate with Dutch hoop, Old High German houf; akin to German Haufe

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Word History and Origins

Origin of heap1

Old English héap; related to Old Frisian hāp, Old Saxon hōp, Old High German houf

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Idioms and Phrases

  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.

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Example Sentences

User error accounts for the majority of gear failure in the field, so learning how your tent or bedding sets up before you leave home can save you heaps of time and stress when you’re depending on it.

It’s notably lacking in the generous heaps of grated fresh ginger I know Sammy adds to his blend, but still, it’s excellent.

From Eater

Where this has proved impossible, we’ve outsourced the process using barrels, jars, compost heaps, and industrial fermenters.

These include human bones, ancient buildings, ancient trash heaps and more.

Another plus is that busy microbes in a compost heap put out a lot of heat.

The problem runs far deeper, to an absurdly narrow legal definition of ‘corruption’ that throws democracy on the trash heap.

Since then, Abilify has risen from the fifth-most-prescribed drug to the top of the heap.

And Ebola, in turn, has returned to the top of the local talking-points heap.

He snatched up the thrown chair and crashed it down onto the head of a charging older black man, who crumpled into a heap.

This regrettable action will, of course, ignite a racial gang war, leaving a heap of bodies in its wake.

But here at Fort Walsh we're among a class of people that are a heap different from Texas cow-punchers.

At this point Harry entered and stood afar off, eying Punch, a disheveled heap in the corner of the room, with disgust.

If they'd been white men I would probably have been curled in a neat heap within two hundred yards.

You'll be a heap more sane when you get that old, wild-west notion, that every man should be a law unto himself, out of your head.

He gathered the heap and flung it into a corner, then caught up his hat and struck out for the loneliest part of the ranch.


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.