1. a peg or plug of wood, especially one used as a spigot.
  2. a spout for conducting sap from the sugar maple.
  3. a heavy wooden stake or pile.
  4. Mining. forepole.
verb (used with object), spiled, spil·ing.
  1. to stop up (a hole) with a spile or peg.
  2. to furnish with a spigot or spout, as for drawing off a liquid.
  3. to tap by means of a spile.
  4. to furnish, strengthen, or support with spiles or piles.

Origin of spile

1505–15; < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German spile splinter, peg; cognate with German Speil


verb (used with or without object), spiled, spil·ing, noun
  1. spoil.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for spiles

nozzle, valve, plug, vent, stopper, tap, spout, outlet, spile, stopple

Examples from the Web for spiles

Historical Examples of spiles

  • The first thing done in the latter work was the driving of spiles.

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

    Among the Pines

    James R. Gilmore

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

    Among the Pines

    James R. Gilmore

  • "Not if it spiles your work, it ain't," said the man in yellow.

    Tales of Space and Time

    Herbert George Wells

  • It's to life what a drought is to Nature—an' it spiles mo' people than any other weakness.

    The Bishop of Cottontown

    John Trotwood Moore

British Dictionary definitions for spiles


  1. a heavy timber stake or pile
  2. US and Canadian a spout for tapping sap from the sugar maple tree
  3. a plug or spigot
verb (tr)
  1. to provide or support with a spile
  2. US to tap (a tree) with a spile
  3. Northern English dialect a splinter

Word Origin for spile

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

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