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pile driver

noun
  1. a machine for driving piles, usually composed of a tall framework in which either a weight is raised and dropped on a pile head or in which a steam hammer drives the pile.
  2. a person who operates such a machine.
  3. a person who hits or attacks forcefully or powerfully.
  4. Wrestling. a move whereby an opponent is turned upside down and slammed headfirst to the mat.
  5. British Sports. a powerful stroke, hit, kick, etc.
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Origin of pile driver

First recorded in 1765–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pile-driver

Historical Examples

  • He shortened his right arm for a jab like the crash of a pile-driver.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • It shot out like a pile-driver, all his weight behind the blow.

    Crooked Trails and Straight

    William MacLeod Raine

  • Then came a time when this funeral business landed on me like a pile-driver.

    Cutting It out

    Samuel G. Blythe

  • My first order for my pile-driver was a source of great pleasure to me.

    Stories of Invention

    Edward E. Hale

  • "It acts more like a pile-driver than a printing-press," said Ned, ruefully.

    Phaeton Rogers

    Rossiter Johnson


British Dictionary definitions for pile-driver

pile-driver

noun
  1. a machine that drives piles into the ground either by repeatedly allowing a heavy weight to fall on the head of the pile or by using a steam hammer
  2. informal a forceful punch or kick
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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 pile-driver

n.

1772 in literal sense, from pile (n.2) + driver. Figurative sense of "very strong hit" is recorded from 1858.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper