1 noun
a) a tidy collection of several things of the same kind placed on top of each other; stack 1 (1): We put the newspapers in piles on the floor. | The record I want is at the bottom of the pile.
(+ of): a pile of blankets —compare heap 1 (1)
b) a large mass of things collected together: big pile of brushwood
2 a pile of also piles of informal a lot of something: I've got piles of work to do this evening.
3 at the bottom of the pile in a very weak position in society or in an organization: At the bottom of the pile are young people in their first jobs.
4 CLOTH/CARPETS (C, U) the soft surface of short threads on a carpet or some types of cloth, especially velvet: a deep pile carpet
—compare nap 1 (2)
5 POST (C) a heavy post made of wood, stone, or metal, pushed into the ground as a support for a building, bridge etc
6 make a/your pile informal to make a lot of money: He made his pile in the antiques business.
7 BUILDING (C) especially BrE a large tall old building or group of buildings: They live in a rambling Victorian pile.
8 MEDICAL piles BrE not technical haemorrhoids
2 verb
1 also pile up (T) to make a pile by collecting things together; stack 2 (1): Ma stacked the cups and piled the plates. | We piled the books up on the table. | pile sth high (=make a tall pile): Clothes were piled high on the chair
2 (T) to fill something or cover a surface with a lot of something: Anna piled spaghetti onto her plate. | be piled (high) with: The cart was piled high with fruit and vegetables.
pile in/into sth phrasal verb (T) to go quickly into a place or vehicle in a disorganized way: We all piled into the back of his car. pile on phrasal verb (T) informal
1 pile on the praise/criticism etc also pile it on to talk about something in a way that makes it seem much better or much worse than it really is; exaggerate: Mitch was really piling on the compliments! | It can't be that bad - Nellie tends to pile it on.
2 pile on the agony BrE to enjoy making something seem worse than it really is
pile out phrasal verb (I) to quickly leave a place or get out of a vehicle in a rather disorderly way (+ of): As soon as the bell went the kids piled out of the building. pile up phrasal verb (I, T) to become much larger in quantity or amount, or to make something do this; accumulate: Work is really piling up. | pile sth up Greg has managed to pile up enormous debts. —see also: pile­up

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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