Definition of piles in US English:


plural noun

  • Hemorrhoids.

    • ‘Surgical removal of piles is called haemorrhoidectomy.’
    • ‘Husband and wife, Jean and Fred, had piles for most of their lives, but were too embarrassed to seek help.’
    • ‘Piles are incredibly common - at least 50 per cent of people suffer with them at some time.’
    • ‘Haemorrhoids, also known as piles are rather like varicose veins in the canal of the anus.’
    • ‘Stomach ulcers, piles, ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the colon) and bowel cancer may cause bleeding in the gut and result in anaemia.’
    • ‘A Dalit woman who had come to a local private nursing home for treatment of piles, allegedly died because of doctor's negligence.’
    • ‘Unfortunately confusion still exists among lay people and doctors, who misuse the terms haemorrhoids and piles to cover a variety of complaints.’
    • ‘Like varicose veins, piles often improve or disappear completely after the baby is born, but occasionally surgery is needed.’
    • ‘Piles tend to be caused by factors that cause the blood vessels to swell, including anything that increases pressure inside the abdomen such as constipation, pregnancy and being overweight.’


Late Middle English: probably from Latin pila ‘ball’ (because of the globular form of external hemorrhoids).