having a pile, as velvet and other fabrics.

Origin of piled

1400–50; late Middle English: covered with hair; see pile3, -ed3




an assemblage of things laid or lying one upon the other: a pile of papers; a pile of bricks.
Informal. a large number, quantity, or amount of anything: a pile of work.
a heap of wood on which a dead body, a living person, or a sacrifice is burned; pyre.
a lofty or large building or group of buildings: the noble pile of Windsor Castle.
Informal. a large accumulation of money: They made a pile on Wall Street.
a bundle of pieces of iron ready to be welded and drawn out into bars; fagot.
Electricity. voltaic pile.

verb (used with object), piled, pil·ing.

to lay or dispose in a pile (often followed by up): to pile up the fallen autumn leaves.
to accumulate or store (often followed by up): to pile up money; squirrels piling up nuts against the winter.
to cover or load with a pile: He piled the wagon with hay.

verb (used without object), piled, pil·ing.

to accumulate, as money, debts, evidence, etc. (usually followed by up).
Informal. to move as a group in a more or less confused, disorderly cluster: to pile off a train.
to gather, accumulate, or rise in a pile or piles (often followed by up): The snow is piling up on the roofs.

Origin of pile

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French < Latin pīla pillar, mole of stone

Synonyms for pile




a cylindrical or flat member of wood, steel, concrete, etc., often tapered or pointed at the lower end, hammered vertically into soil to form part of a foundation or retaining wall.
Heraldry. an ordinary in the form of a wedge or triangle coming from one edge of the escutcheon, from the chief unless otherwise specified.
Archery. the sharp head or striking end of an arrow, usually of metal and of the form of a wedge or conical nub.

verb (used with object), piled, pil·ing.

to furnish, strengthen, or support with piles.
to drive piles into.

Origin of pile

before 1000; Middle English; Old English pīl shaft < Latin pīlum javelin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for piled

Contemporary Examples of piled

Historical Examples of piled

  • He arranged his own bed in this second room, where the saddles and other accouterments were piled.

  • The door was piled with bodies, and the stone floor was slippery with blood.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • First he looked at her, then he looked at the material she had piled down in front of him.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • They are made by the ashes that have been dug out by the excavators and piled here.

  • Three other volumes of the same sort were piled one upon the other.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

British Dictionary definitions for piled




a collection of objects laid on top of one another or of other material stacked vertically; heap; mound
informal a large amount of money (esp in the phrase make a pile)
(often plural) informal a large amounta pile of work
a less common word for pyre
a large building or group of buildings
short for voltaic pile
physics a structure of uranium and a moderator used for producing atomic energy; nuclear reactor
metallurgy an arrangement of wrought-iron bars that are to be heated and worked into a single bar
the point of an arrow


(often foll by up) to collect or be collected into or as if into a pilesnow piled up in the drive
(intr; foll by in, into, off, out, etc) to move in a group, esp in a hurried or disorganized mannerto pile off the bus
pile arms to prop a number of rifles together, muzzles together and upwards, butts forming the base
pile it on informal to exaggerate
See also pile up

Word Origin for pile

C15: via Old French from Latin pīla stone pier




a long column of timber, concrete, or steel that is driven into the ground to provide a foundation for a vertical load (a bearing pile) or a group of such columns to resist a horizontal load from earth or water pressure (a sheet pile)
heraldry an ordinary shaped like a wedge, usually displayed point-downwards

verb (tr)

to drive (piles) into the ground
to provide or support (a structure) with piles

Word Origin for pile

Old English pīl, from Latin pīlum




  1. the yarns in a fabric that stand up or out from the weave, as in carpeting, velvet, flannel, etc
  2. one of these yarns
soft fine hair, fur, wool, etc

Word Origin for pile

C15: from Anglo-Norman pyle, from Latin pilus hair
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 piled



"mass, heap," early 15c., originally "pillar, pier of a bridge," from Middle French pile and directly from Latin pila "stone barrier, pillar, pier" (see pillar). Sense development in Latin from "pier, harbor wall of stones," to "something heaped up." In English, sense of "heap of things" is attested from mid-15c. (the verb in this sense is recorded from mid-14c.). The meaning "large building" (late 14c.) is probably the same word.



"heavy pointed beam," from Old English pil "stake," also "arrow," from Latin pilum heavy javelin of the Roman foot soldier, literally "pestle" (source of Old Norse pila, Old High German pfil, German Pfeil "arrow"), of uncertain origin.



"soft, raised surface upon cloth," mid-14c., "downy plumage," from Anglo-French pyle or Middle Dutch pijl, both from Latin pilus "a hair" (source of Italian pelo, Old French pel). Phonological evidence rules out transmission of the English word via Old French cognate peil, poil. Meaning "nap upon cloth" is from 1560s.



"to heap up," mid-14c.; see pile (n.1). Related: Piled; piling. Figurative verbal expression pile on "attack vigorously, attack en masse," is from 1894, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

piled in Medicine




A hemorrhoid.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with piled


In addition to the idioms beginning with pile

  • pile into
  • pile up

also see:

  • make a bundle (pile)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.