Main definitions of pile in English

: pile1pile2pile3

pile1

noun

  • 1A heap of things laid or lying one on top of another.

    ‘he placed the books in a neat pile’
    ‘tottering piles of dirty dishes’
    • ‘One afternoon when I came on shift, I found it lying in a heap behind a pile of boxes.’
    • ‘On Saturday morning, Adam and I realised that we probably should clean the enormous pile of dirty dishes on the sink.’
    • ‘Somebody had left a pile of rubbish lying right on the street, near where the car had peeled away.’
    • ‘I thought life should have ended there and then with me lying in a pile of rubble crying tears of nothingness.’
    • ‘He dropped his bowl in the sink amid a growing pile of dirty dishes.’
    • ‘Rose noticed the pile of dirty dishes sitting in the sink.’
    • ‘Dayra stood, menacing as always, and stared down at the crumpled mass lying on a pile of decaying straw in front of her, chained to the wall.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Pasar Minggu market in South Jakarta looked dirty due to accumulated piles of garbage at several places.’
    • ‘On the bench a huge pile of dirty dishes, cups, empty bottles, knives and forks.’
    • ‘Inside, the chairs are stacked in three neat piles on the porch.’
    • ‘Lori pouted, snatching the fork and dropping it into the sink, on top of a pile of dirty dishes.’
    • ‘I looked at the pile of dirty dishes on the Formica counter.’
    • ‘Maybe it's the Spring, maybe it's the simple joy of having finally managed to face down the pile of dirty dishes that's been infesting my kitchen for the last eight days.’
    • ‘Nothing else was about, save for the pile of small stones heaped by the grateful as a thank-offering to the ancient water spirit of the place.’
    • ‘Anassra grew worried when I did not call for her at my usual hour and entered, to find me lying face-down in a pile of papers.’
    • ‘The amount of garbage the city generates is staggering - piles and piles of rubbish are heaped on the sidewalks by the end of the day.’
    • ‘In the meantime, Serethiya recovered her vision, as she found herself lying on a huge pile of dust.’
    • ‘I saw a pile of black rubbish lying on the side of the road.’
    • ‘He spotted her quickly, lying unconscious on a pile of scrap.’
    • ‘Pete stormed off, practically chucking his tray into the pile of dirty dishes.’
    heap, stack, mound, pyramid, mass, quantity, bundle, clump, bunch, jumble
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal A large amount of something.
      ‘he's making piles of money’
      • ‘If you're poor in this world, this is how you get your daily energy: a big pile of carbohydrates with a tiny amount of proteins, fats, spice or salt to leaven the stodge.’
      • ‘This film did of course gross an enormous amount of money worldwide and in America, and also received a pile of Oscar nominations.’
      • ‘The money just slips out, the deficit piles higher - and his response to every problem seems to be spending more.’
      • ‘Like the biting winds of nature that sculpt rock and carve stone, inflation and taxes will grind the greatest piles of fortune to dust over time.’
      • ‘The Americans as usual will fancy their horses to beat all-comers, but O'Brien's three can win a fair pile of the millions of dollars up for grabs at Chicago.’
      • ‘Experts are at hand to advise you on how to put aside a little every month and invest it prudently, so that the little pile slowly grows into an appreciable amount within a few years.’
      • ‘After expenses, the company said it will use the IPO proceeds to pay down part of its debt pile, which is now close to €2.2 billion.’
      • ‘No, it was too much for a dog, a dog who, by all accounts, at the end amounted to nothing more than a useless pile of bones in a wrinkled sack of skin.’
      • ‘The company's balance sheet shows that its cash pile fell from €6.5 million to €669,213.’
      • ‘A debt pile approaching €300 million has been systematically reduced.’
      • ‘Are these questions to ask ourselves as the years pass, as the hostility grows, as the piles of dead mount on both sides?’
      • ‘Inevitably the film made enormous amounts of money and won a pile of Academy Awards.’
      • ‘It reminded me that the beard was only a pile of hairs on my face that would grow again if I really wanted it to do so.’
      • ‘Three, including Sir Richard, increased their pile by £1 billion or more.’
      • ‘As the pile of cash grows, the interest gets calculated on the bigger amount and the return jumps higher.’
      • ‘Eventually, as the pile grows like Jack's beanstalk, the pressure on the publicists grows.’
      • ‘Eventually, as deficit piles on deficit, the accumulated debt starts to grow more rapidly than the economy.’
      • ‘This isn't to say the company will disappear in a puff of smoke: with a cash pile of $51 billion, it isn't going to go away anytime soon.’
      • ‘Russian oil magnate Roman Abramovich tops the pile with an estimated fortune of more than £10 bn.’
      • ‘Audiences around the world still get to their feet every night and the money pile continues to grow.’
    2. 1.2archaic A funeral pyre.
      • ‘Then the corpse is brought and laid in the midst; the pile is kindled and the roaring flame rises, mingled with weeping, till all is consumed.’
      • ‘The following morning Priam bade his people go gather wood for the burial, and after nine days the body of Hector was laid on the pile and burned.’
  • 2A large imposing building or group of buildings.

    ‘a Victorian Gothic pile’
    • ‘The excitement peaked after the sale when the multitudes began speculating about which moneybags celebrity or rich-list regular had bought the landmark pile.’
    • ‘Walter Scott, in one of his rare moments of happy economy, summed up the city skyline as mixed and massive piles - half church of God, half castle against the Scot.’
    • ‘The McKittrick Hotel is a gothic pile, quite similar in appearance to the Bates home.’
    • ‘A huge outcry followed Lord Minto's decision to raze his ancestral pile to the ground in 1992.’
    • ‘In a nutshell, Lord Edgar Hillcrest has brought his new bride - Lady Enid - home to the ancestral pile, Mandercrest.’
    • ‘Space, quality and style are in abundance, but these piles are most definitely priced accordingly - from 820000.’
    • ‘The house itself is a pile built when Pitlochry was the chicest spa venue in early Victorian Britain.’
    mansion, stately home, hall, manor, big house, manor house, country house, castle, palace
    View synonyms
  • 3A series of plates of dissimilar metals laid one on another alternately to produce an electric current.

  • 4dated A nuclear reactor.

    • ‘In the basement of the unused football stadium of the University of Chicago, scientists Enrico Fermi and Arthur Compton built an atomic pile and in December 1942 produced the first chain reaction in uranium.’
    • ‘Most of his biographers and all of his friends say that he was simply a German, and when his country was at war he was duty-bound to build them an atomic pile.’
    • ‘Another display that caught my attention was the diorama showing Enrique Fermi and George While controlling the reaction at the world's first atomic pile CP - 1.’
    • ‘Bent on defeating Nazi Germany, Wigner worked on plutonium production and made superb engineering designs for the air-cooled atomic pile built by the DuPont Corporation.’

verb

  • 1[with object and adverbial] Place (things) one on top of the other.

    ‘she piled all the groceries on the counter’
    • ‘Vegetables on offer were roast and boiled potatoes, carrots and broccoli, and as it was self service you could pile your plate with as much as possible.’
    • ‘My mother was piling her plate high with a greasy, fatty, fry-up of a mixed grill and tucking in with gusto.’
    • ‘One folded the note back into my fist, the other piled the plate high with sandwiches and slid it across without a word.’
    • ‘He became notorious for piling his plate high and refilling it frequently, even wrapping a few pieces of chicken in a hanky and stuffing them in his pocket to eat later.’
    • ‘Carol shoved all the paper work to the side and began piling salad on her plate.’
    • ‘A keen cook, she was happy to allow Joe to pile his dinner plate with extra Yorkshire puddings or the scones and sausage rolls she enjoyed making.’
    • ‘I was piling food onto my plate with one hand, eating with the other.’
    • ‘Despite their 5 per cent fat content, they still contain more calories than jacket potatoes and other non-fried foods, however, so think twice before piling them onto your plate.’
    • ‘Whereas Katie tucked straight in, piling her plate high with food!’
    • ‘Stacks of bricks and timber covered in tarpaulins were piled carelessly around half built houses.’
    • ‘I grabbed a plate and started piling it with food.’
    • ‘The rest of the table laughed with her as Bryan shrugged and started piling food onto his plate.’
    • ‘Plates were piled high in the sink and clothes were strewn about in the living room.’
    • ‘I laughed as I piled my plate with pancakes and strawberries before coating it in hot syrup.’
    • ‘They pile it onto paper plates and fork it into their mouths with passion.’
    • ‘The checkout girls are friendly as she piles her groceries onto the conveyor belt.’
    • ‘I erect a fence of roast potatoes around the rim of the plate and then pile a goodly spoonful or two of every other vegetable on offer in the middle until the whole structure is in danger of collapse.’
    • ‘Teodora's plate was piled high with pork because her family felt she was underweight.’
    • ‘Matt glared at him as he started piling food on his plate.’
    • ‘He watched them walk into the old wooden house then walked around it to pile the wood in an orderly stack by the front door.’
    make a heap of, make a pile of, make a stack of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Be stacked or loaded with.
      ‘his in tray was piled high with papers’
      • ‘The solid kauri counter, twenty feet in length, was piled with goods on both sides of the cash register and around the scales.’
      • ‘Everyone was sitting round the Christmas tree, which was piled with presents.’
      • ‘He apparently hadn't cleaned out his car, so it was piled with random junk.’
      • ‘A rubbish recycling station was located on the ground floor of the apartment block and the only passage into the building was piled with rubbish.’
      • ‘Your phone has been ringing off the hook and your desk is piled with work demanding your attention.’
      • ‘Those cars successfully detecting all the eight points were piled with extra gifts.’
      • ‘The bed he was laying on was tiny, but comfortable, and the rest of the room was piled with assorted broken cooking utensils and children's toys.’
      • ‘She wore a cloak about her shoulders that was piled with what looked like swan feathers.’
      • ‘Cobwebs coated the shelves, which were piled with scrolls, leaves, and stone slabs.’
      • ‘The streets were piled with rubbish and animal feces.’
      • ‘Tables were piled with textbooks for homeschoolers, tomes denouncing evolution, booklets waxing nostalgic for the antebellum South.’
      • ‘The food bank shelves were piled with enough items to last eight weeks, said Jennifer Hayward, the food bank's treasurer.’
      • ‘The plate, sitting unnoticed in front of her, was piled with pancakes and sausage.’
      • ‘He also saw that the bed was piled with any piece of cloth that occupied the room.’
      • ‘The older man said as he made his way towards an old wooden desk that was piled with papers.’
      • ‘Many of the works were created in the top-floor studio, which was piled with half-finished canvases.’
      • ‘The sink and counters were piled with things to be addressed in one way or another.’
      • ‘Yang's third-floor apartment is piled with his former works.’
      • ‘The room seemed very well kept and there was an antique desk in the corner that was piled with papers and documents.’
      • ‘I snickered and shoved my book bag into a corner that was piled with papers.’
    2. 1.2Increase or cause to increase in quantity.
      [no object] ‘the work is piling up’
      • ‘They didn't cart it off, they piled it up in the middle of the field.’
      • ‘Are you not aware that it is God who causes the clouds to move onward, then joins them together, then piles them up in masses, until you can see rain come forth from their midst.’
      • ‘Mr Desmond said if the arson had been planned, Davies would not have lit isolated napkins on tables but piled them up near to other combustible materials.’
      • ‘The parents said that the broken glass had been piled up by Wu, along with other waste, when he was decorating his house.’
      • ‘I pile them up in great heaps on my working desk and, honestly, I really do know where things are in all that mess.’
      • ‘It started when they were toddlers - gathering rocks and tucking them into pockets (theirs and mine), piling them up on the steps and hiding them in the secret compartments in their jewelry boxes.’
      • ‘Sometimes I used to pile stones up and collect them at night with my wheelbarrow for I was working a lot at night.’
      • ‘The papers were piled up too high for him to see it at that angle.’
      • ‘He is piling them up because the stacks serve as a kind of yardstick, measuring a new social phenomenon that is gaining ground in Germany.’
      • ‘Without using any cement, the bridge is piled up by stones.’
      • ‘A lot of people just take horse poo out of the stables from the bedding and pile it up as manure heaps.’
      • ‘So my challenge to myself is to look at these sculptures and see what (if anything) they have to say, without piling my own stuff up around them.’
      • ‘All the books in the apartment had been piled up and set on fire, she said.’
      • ‘The people are going through stores on that street with grocery carts, just piling them up, going into athletic stores, and all other kinds of stores, and a little bit outside the city.’
      • ‘The traffic signals have failed and cars are piled up, fender to bumper, loudly beeping and honking.’
      • ‘A gigantic oak had been felled by a recent storm & my 10-year-old son & I decided to spend the day together, me chain sawing the oak & splitting the wood, & my son piling it up in the wheelbarrow & hauling it back up to the deck.’
      • ‘Helpfully Manfred hurried to his side to assist him in getting the blankets out and piling them up in a heap.’
      • ‘Dead pines washed away by the spring floods were piled up and wedged into grotesque shapes like a petrified forest.’
      • ‘The resort for burial is so great that they decompose the bodies by means of lime and then after but a year or two take out the bones and pile them up to make room within the small vaults for more.’
      • ‘He piles it up with tomatoes, Italian Parmesan and mozzarella on focaccia (which he bakes fresh every day) and grills until it's golden.’
    3. 1.3informal Intensify or exaggerate something for effect.
      ‘you can pile on the guilt but my heart has turned to stone’
      • ‘But, in what he described as a ‘big week for the championship’, the Arsenal boss piled the pressure on United.’
      • ‘Miklós Rózsa's score, with its creepy Theramin-style theme, is way too insistent, piling the dramatic effects on so thickly that it becomes distracting.’
      • ‘Pigheaded motorists have been piling the pressure on already stretched emergency services and putting their own lives at risk by refusing to steer clear of flood-hit roads across North Yorkshire.’
      • ‘On this side of the Atlantic, places where the huddled masses massed - like the Lower East Side of Manhattan - piled people on top of one another to the tune hundreds of thousands per square mile in the early 1900s.’
      • ‘Strange effects are piled on, and the song builds to a powerful climax of heavily distorted guitars and bleeping synthesizers.’
      • ‘Expectation levels may be lofty for the top billers such as Holmes but what irks is the fact that while the pressure is piled on in equal measure regardless of sex, the main focus remains on the men.’
      • ‘Over the years as bandwidth got cheaper, extra features were piled on until it no longer mattered how small a file was, it only mattered that it could be viewed correctly.’
      • ‘A number have now broken rank and that piles the pressure on the Hearts owner and his new head coach.’
      • ‘You've got to look people in the eye today and just say, you know, do you like piling deficits on our kids?’
      • ‘Have the site thoroughly researched, and take all the advice you can think of, piling consultants on consultants, before the job is let.’
      • ‘Insurance companies are piling the pressure on struggling local games committees with huge rises in the premiums for public liability insurance.’
      • ‘Nor does it require added frills, but Chevrier has piled them on anyway.’
      • ‘Last year investors were piling the pressure on the group to sell off the nationals and focus on the more profitable regionals.’
      • ‘The school are really piling the pressure on, and your child is giving a monologue, as a solitary spotlit figure against a dimly lit set.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the White House has been piling new errors on old.’
      • ‘A truly successful person piles successes on top of each other.’
      • ‘One tourist-industry insider backed McKinlay, saying: ‘It is a bit rich just piling the dirt on the Scottish Tourist Board.’’
      • ‘Huge extra costs were piled on to taxpayers at a time when the country's income was ebbing.’
      • ‘Back in the 1930s and '50s, when the various public housing projects were being built on the site (the city kept piling poor people on top of each other), the Heritage Park area was parsed by a normal street grid.’
      • ‘The more the optional extras are piled on, the more burdensome the proceedings may become.’
  • 2[no object] (of a group of people) get into or out of (a vehicle) in a disorganized manner.

    ‘ten of us piled into the minibus’
    • ‘On weekday mornings, Julie piles into the car with her two kids, Megan, 4 years old, and Luke, 16 months.’
    • ‘Others pile into their cars to visit relatives, amusement parks and the beach.’
    • ‘As Modes had promised beforehand, the march ended with the clowns piling into three small cars and driving off.’
    • ‘After opening night, the three piled into Bill's car and headed back to his place for an impromptu jam.’
    • ‘Ewan, his mother and I piled into the car so that Walter could drive us to our respective cars, and we chatted enthusiastically.’
    • ‘Kansas soldiers piled out of Humvees and helped to seal off the inner courtyard, where the explosions had scattered body parts of trainees.’
    • ‘They headed out to the car, piling into it as fast as they could.’
    • ‘The soldiers piled out of the vehicle and lined up alongside their hauptmann.’
    • ‘The Specials piled out of the van and moved into the crowd, separating the perpetrators and supporting the officers already on the scene.’
    • ‘Sabrina gasped and piled out of her side of the van.’
    • ‘Yesterday, Isaac, Jeremy, Marita, Adrian and myself piled into the car to head for the snow at Lake Mountain.’
    • ‘We finally arrived at a section of waterfront and piled out of the vehicles to look at birds.’
    • ‘Every January, we would pile into the car with my parents and drive off to escape the heat of Cordoba city.’
    • ‘We all piled out of the vehicles and set up a defensive perimeter with our weapons pointing out.’
    • ‘We must've looked very strange piling into the car.’
    • ‘It was ten by the time we piled out of Torry's vehicle and headed into the summerhouse.’
    • ‘The rest of the platoon piled out of the Humvees.’
    • ‘Two hours later, putting them two hours and fifteen minutes behind schedule, everyone was piling into the cars and heading to the arena where Owen's debut show was to take place.’
    • ‘They all piled out of the vehicle, crossed the street and headed into the church.’
    • ‘Holly, James, Lauren and Jen all piled out of the shuttle.’
    crowd, climb, charge, tumble, stream, flock, flood, pack, squeeze, push, shove, jostle, elbow, crush, jam
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1(of a vehicle) crash into.
      ‘60 cars piled into each other on the M62’
      • ‘The big final was a typically full-blooded affair, with a complete restart being called as the cars piled into each other before the green flag fell.’
      • ‘The stunts are staged to increase the spectacle, so that when cars pile into each other or toy robots battle, there is an intricate detail and near artistic quality.’
      • ‘Her twin sister Carly, who was in the front passenger seat, suffered a perforated eardrum and cuts from the smashed windscreen after the car piled into undergrowth.’

Phrases

  • make a (or one's) pile

    • informal Make a lot of money.

      ‘he was a car salesman who had made his pile in the Thatcher years’
      • ‘It's largely the preserve of TV comedians who've made their pile and are now desperately seeking some late - career credibility.’
      • ‘He has made a pile of money from share options already, has built up substantial pension rights and could get a very nice little package.’
      • ‘But he was certain that Mr H didn't look at it that way now that he'd made his pile.’
      • ‘Having made her pile by breaking the rules, Madonna has matured into a boot-camp queen.’
      • ‘Both have made their pile and are looking for something to do.’
      • ‘Unfortunately Gill did not make his pile in Victoria but took to the bottle and died drunk and destitute on the steps of the Melbourne post office on 27 October 1880.’
      • ‘Best make your pile from your supplementary talents.’
      • ‘The oil industry makes a pile of dough selling motor oil but is absolutely unwilling to lose any of that dough dealing with it.’
      • ‘This is quite different from someone who has made their pile and bought a club as a hobby, much like buying a racehorse.’
      • ‘In any event, a friend who had made a pile treated himself to a new Porsche, and chose XOR FF as his plate.’
      fortune, considerable sum of money, large sum of money, vast sum of money, millions, billions
      View synonyms
  • pile arms

    • Place a number of rifles (usually four) with their butts on the ground and the muzzles together.

      • ‘In piling arms, after the firelocks are properly fixed, the pikes are generally placed across the muzzles.’
      • ‘The seamen from HMS Excellent were tasked to take over, piling arms and improvising drag ropes from lengths of rope commandeered from the railway station.’
  • pile it on

    • informal Exaggerate the seriousness of a situation for effect.

      exaggerate, overstate the case, make a mountain out of a molehill, overdo, overplay, dramatize, overdramatize, catastrophize
      lay it on thick, lay it on with a trowel, ham it up, blow up out of all proportion, give someone a sob story
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin pila pillar, pier.

Pronunciation:

pile

/pʌɪl/

Main definitions of pile in English

: pile1pile2pile3

pile2

noun

  • 1A heavy stake or post driven vertically into the bed of a river, soft ground, etc., to support the foundations of a superstructure.

    • ‘Assurances have been given that a number of sizeable cracks in the piles supporting Rice Bridge do not pose a safety risk to the public.’
    • ‘His solution has been to sink 1,800 wooden foundation piles deep into the ground.’
    • ‘Interestingly the original plans show the buildings supported and made level by brick piles grounded in the sloping valley side.’
    • ‘Bisson said the elevator is supported by 179 piles, each averaging about 100 feet in length.’
    • ‘Once the piles are in the ground, they will remain 600 mm above the surface for a week while they are monitored, and then driven all the way into the soil.’
    • ‘During construction it was shored up with piles and the new building built around it.’
    • ‘They will want to drill sticks of dynamite into the piles of your house.’
    • ‘We should be able to sink storage piles in the ground.’
    • ‘Freeport has blamed the collapse of the overburden pile on heavy rainfall, which reached on average of 40 millimeters last week.’
    • ‘Work began on rectifying the structural problems of the library and extra piles were inserted and the building was underpinned.’
    • ‘Like most buildings in the region, these must be raised off the ground on low piles or stilts to ward off termites and rot.’
    • ‘Because only the piles - the posts they stand on - are in contact with the ground, rising damp is not a problem.’
    • ‘Local residents drove wood and stone piles deep into the river bottom to set a solid base.’
    • ‘Work began on the new berth last summer and involved piles of more than 30 ft being driven into the sand.’
    • ‘Workers of the STC Constructions Ltd., were in the process of driving piles on the property next to the hotel when the accident occurred.’
    • ‘The whole was prefabricated and delivered complete to the steep site where it rests on beams supported on concrete piles.’
    • ‘Teams are building concrete piles which will shore up the walls of the car park ramp and tunnel.’
    • ‘By the early 1970's drilled piles had become the foundation of choice in Texas.’
    • ‘These same piles then form the foundations for the buttresses which when cast against that wall, would provide the long-term stability.’
    • ‘Macro Enterprises Ltd., for instance, does the piles for our buildings.’
    post, rod, pillar, column, support, foundation, piling
    plinth, pedestal, foot, footing, base, substructure, underpinning, bed, subfloor, abutment, pier, cutwater, buttress, stanchion, prop, stay, upright
    underprop
    View synonyms
  • 2Heraldry
    A triangular charge or ordinary formed by two lines meeting at an acute angle, usually pointing down from the top of the shield.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Strengthen or support (a structure) with piles.

    ‘an earlier bridge may have been piled’

Origin

Old English pīl ‘dart, arrow’, also ‘pointed stake’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch pijl and German Pfeil, from Latin pilum (heavy) javelin.

Pronunciation:

pile

/pʌɪl/

Main definitions of pile in English

: pile1pile2pile3

pile3

noun

  • [mass noun] The soft projecting surface of a carpet or a fabric such as velvet or flannel, consisting of many small threads.

    ‘the thick pile of the new rugs’
    [as modifier, in combination] ‘deep-pile carpets’
    • ‘The floors are covered in thick red pile, and everywhere is filled with Italianate marble statues.’
    • ‘Velveteen is an all cotton pile fabric with short pile resembling velvet.’
    • ‘She kicked the soft pile of unknown material in front of her a few times.’
    • ‘Deep pile beige carpets matched the leather, but might prove impractical over time.’
    • ‘Carolyn walked across the deep pile carpet to the French Windows at the end.’
    • ‘Velvets with a silk backing and rayon pile produce a much more dramatic effect.’
    • ‘The thick pile gives her bare, silver-polished toes something to dig into as she walks half-naked over to the mirror.’
    • ‘It is not as hard-wearing as a tight low looped pile carpet.’
    • ‘This room and the other chambers where his personal staff and guards waited were all carpeted in a plush pile that must've cost a fortune.’
    • ‘The results really do look like fine Persian carpets with a velvety pile.’
    • ‘When Susan left, closing the door behind her, she found herself near the end of a long hall, which was carpeted wall to wall in thick brown pile.’
    • ‘Each year acquires its own unique texture, like a carpet scuffed and trodden by every movement across its pile.’
    • ‘Cut pile carpet has yarn that is cut at the surface rather than looped back to the carpet.’
    • ‘In that particular environment of deep pile carpet and glass display gun cases crafted of dark mahogany, his garb fit in.’
    • ‘It is made of silk velvet, with the pile cut at different heights to create patterns in the fabric.’
    • ‘But what is more, we now acknowledge that the political life of Tudor England was multilayered, a carpet, as it were, with a very thick pile.’
    • ‘Imagine deep pile rugs, generous upholstered pieces, fabric on the walls.’
    • ‘It is a very short, close-cropped weed, just like walking on a thick pile carpet.’
    • ‘The apartment was covered in wall-to-wall thick tan pile carpeting.’
    • ‘Three types of pile are used in carpet construction: single-level loop, multi-level loop and cut pile.’
    fibres, threads, loops
    nap, velvet, shag, plush
    fur, hair
    soft surface, surface
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘downy feather’): from Latin pilus hair. The current sense dates from the mid 16th century.

Pronunciation:

pile

/pʌɪl/