• A mass of things heaped together; a heap.
  • A group or list of related items up for consideration, especially in some kind of selection process.
  • A mass formed in layers.
  • A funeral pile; a pyre.
  • A large amount of money.
  • A large building, or mass of buildings.
  • A bundle of pieces of wrought iron to be worked over into bars or other shapes by rolling or hammering at a welding heat; a fagot.
  • A vertical series of alternate disks of two dissimilar metals (especially copper and zinc), laid up with disks of cloth or paper moistened with acid water between them, for producing a current of electricity; a voltaic pile, or galvanic pile.
  • A beam, pole, or pillar, driven completely into the ground.
  • An atomic pile; an early form of nuclear reactor.
  • The reverse (or tails) of a coin.
  • A list or league
  • A dart; an arrow.
  • The head of an arrow or spear.
  • A large stake, or piece of pointed timber, steel etc., driven into the earth or sea-bed for the support of a building, a pier, or other superstructure, or to form a cofferdam, etc.
  • One of the ordinaries or subordinaries having the form of a wedge, usually placed palewise, with the broadest end uppermost.
  • A hemorrhoid.
  • Hair, especially when very fine or short; the fine underfur of certain animals. (Formerly countable, now treated as a collective singular.)
  • The raised hairs, loops or strands of a fabric; the nap of a cloth.


  • To lay or throw into a pile or heap; to heap up; to collect into a mass; to accumulate
  • To cover with heaps; or in great abundance; to fill or overfill; to load.
  • To add something to a great number.
  • (of vehicles) To create a hold-up.
  • To place (guns, muskets, etc.) together in threes so that they can stand upright, supporting each other.
  • To drive piles into; to fill with piles; to strengthen with piles.
  • To give a pile to; to make shaggy.


  • Borrowed from Middle French pile, pille, from Latin pīla ("pillar, pier").
  • From Old English pīl, from Latin pīlum ("heavy javelin"). Cognate with Dutch pijl, German Pfeil. pilum.
  • Apparently from Late Latin pilus.
  • From Middle English pile, partly from Anglo-Norman pil (a variant of peil, poil) and partly from its source, Latin pilus ("hair"). pilus.

Modern English dictionary

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