verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to become heaped or piled, as sand or snow; rise in a heap or heaps (often followed by up).


    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 for heap

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for heap

Contemporary Examples of heap

Historical Examples of heap

  • Peart and cunnin', but a heap too wise fur you, son; take my steer on that.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He made of himself but a cock, set for a while on the world's heap to scratch and pick.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • And how of the heap of trifles that you can see for yourselves in yonder corner?

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Diablo's no angel, as you've said, Langdon, and this boy made him a heap worse.


    W. A. Fraser

  • "The Denson kids are a heap worse, if she only knew it," he said, and followed her willingly.

British Dictionary definitions for heap



a collection of articles or mass of material gathered together in one place
(often plural usually foll by of) informal a large number or quantity
give them heaps Australian slang to contend strenuously with an opposing sporting team
give it heaps NZ slang to try very hard
informal a place or thing that is very old, untidy, unreliable, etcthe car was a heap


heaps (intensifier)he said he was feeling heaps better


(often foll by up or together) to collect or be collected into or as if into a heap or pileto heap up wealth
(tr; often foll by with, on, or upon) to load or supply (with) abundantlyto heap with riches
Derived Formsheaper, noun

Word Origin for heap

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 heap

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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper