Definition of pileup in US English:



  • 1A crash involving several vehicles.

    • ‘Meanwhile, five people who died in a motorway pile-up when a transporter carrying armoured vehicles apparently jack-knifed across both carriageways were formally identified by police today.’
    • ‘Among the crashes was a large pile-up on the M62 near Goole, in which eight people were hurt - four of them seriously.’
    • ‘This followed two accidents on Friday, in which two people died in a three-car pile-up in Dumfries and Galloway and an elderly man was killed in a collision in Midlothian.’
    • ‘This is Midway's conversion of their popular arcade racer and, like all Midway racing games, it is full of spectacular crashes, pile-ups and short cuts which help trim down lap times.’
    • ‘The car had stopped in front of a three-car pile-up.’
    • ‘The M6 in Cheshire was forced to close on Saturday after a 42-vehicle pile-up.’
    • ‘At each signal, there is a traffic pile-up and vehicles move at a snail's pace.’
    • ‘Police have said they are treating a 60-vehicle pile-up on the A1 as a criminal investigation due to the ‘serious driving offences’ committed.’
    • ‘If there's an accident, accelerometers can alert the network to the crash, before it turns into a multiple vehicle pile-up.’
    • ‘A single accident, involving a three-car pile-up that left 85 people injured, occurred on Tuen Mun Road in January 2003.’
    • ‘Three Good Samaritans who stopped to help at a crash scene were among six people killed in an horrific pile-up on the A1 near Boroughbridge.’
    • ‘Two people were killed in a three-car pile-up on the B6451, between Harrogate and Otley.’
    • ‘However, on this highway, there had apparently been a three-car pile-up and traffic was practically stopped.’
    • ‘When this type of work is being done the Police Traffic Branch should be notified and a contingency plan put in place to deal with the pile-up of vehicles.’
    • ‘The smash follows Thursday's chaos on the M40 in Oxfordshire when two people died in a 100-vehicle pile-up - the biggest multiple accident on the road for 10 years.’
    • ‘A driver being chased by police drove a stolen truck the wrong way up the M62 and crashed into another car, resulting in a seven vehicle pile-up yesterday.’
    • ‘The busy M1 motorway was closed for nearly six hours yesterday after a pile-up involving 11 vehicles.’
    • ‘On the same road, eight miles away, a 55-year-old man was killed in a three-car pile-up a few minutes later.’
    • ‘A failed test of Mercedes' new radar braking system that resulted in a three-car pile-up last week has been exposed as a sham for the benefit of television that went horribly wrong.’
    • ‘I imagined buses crashing, ferries sinking, autobahn pile-ups, the start of round three of hostilities with Germany, trapping her in that country until she was an old woman.’
    crash, multiple crash, car crash, collision, multiple collision, smash, car smash, accident, car accident, road accident, traffic accident
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    1. 1.1 A confused mass of people fallen on top of one another, especially in a team game.
      • ‘If you are lucky you won't encounter any human pileups.’
      • ‘Atlanta's Jay Feely, one of the few kickers crazed enough to leap into the fray, recalls battling a Panthers player at the bottom of the pileup last season.’
      • ‘The next red carpet pileup outside the Kodak Theater may be four months away, but with the beginning of the holiday season, a tidal wave of Oscar wannabes is hitting theaters.’
      • ‘The humans crashed into the aliens, leading to a huge mess even more confusing then a football pileup.’
      • ‘She'd cause huge pileups on the playground or when her parents took her to theme parks with the rides and kids with their faces full of spun pink candy.’
      • ‘The head linesman signaled for the score, but was overruled by the official on the opposite side of the field, who had his view restricted by the pileup.’
      • ‘Grand-theft football is not the only offense perpetrated in NFL pileups.’
      • ‘On the rare occasion when the escalator refuses to work, a massive pile-up is caused, the rewind button is pressed and people reluctantly divert their path up the stairs.’
      • ‘A second try followed four minutes into injury time when from a five metre scrum Cill Dara drove back Portlaoise and in the ensuing pileup Emmett Fitzpatrick got the touch.’
      • ‘In the ensuing pileup, Carmichael broke a collarbone.’
      • ‘Two of the last three weekends have seen spectacular NASCAR-style multi-player pileups.’
      • ‘He would have been alarmed after seeing four US Postal riders crash in a massive pile-up halfway through the stage.’
      • ‘After simply exposing themselves to our collective gaze, they flopped like wet fish into and out of a body pileup unsettlingly reminiscent of Holocaust imagery.’
      • ‘What about the pileup on Moore when he hit the ice?’
  • 2An accumulation of a specified thing.

    ‘a massive pileup of data’
    • ‘Because of the boom in 2000, the semiconductor manufacturers and suppliers anticipated high demand in 2001, which resulted in an inventory pileup.’
    • ‘We have a few games in hand on most clubs and we are getting a bit of a fixture pile-up.’
    • ‘The Easter fixture pile-up imposed on Wenger's team would have weakened anyone.’
    • ‘Brown added: ‘We are in a promising position but we have got a horrendous pile-up of fixtures which could work for, or against, us.’’
    • ‘The low-temperature order-annealing treatment also acts as a stress-relieving treatment, which raises yield strength by reducing stress concentrations in the lattice at the focuses of dislocation pileups.’
    • ‘Christmas seems as good a time as ever when several of the new signings would be expecting a little break - and not a fixture pile-up.’
    • ‘There were massive pileups of luggage at its facility in Philadelphia.’
    • ‘Caught at the bottom of this massive pile-up is usually the little guy - the farmer or worker in the affected industry.’
    • ‘Sense is inevitably degenerating into nonsense, like a pileup of random mutations in an endangered species gasping its last breaths.’
    • ‘Since last fall, the pileup in business inventories, both in Old Economy companies and the high-tech sector, have been a huge drag on the economy.’
    • ‘If you get an ashtray for yourself (ashing in glasses can become annoying and gross) or as a gift, opt for one with a revolving center, to avoid an ash pileup - eau de cigarette is no way to freshen up a room.’
    • ‘With two abandonments and a postponement in the past ten days, Park Avenue have fallen behind in their fixtures and face an end of season pile-up to catch up.’
    • ‘This means they may face a fixture pile-up towards the end of the campaign, especially if a heavy winter brings further call-offs.’
    • ‘On his brief rendition of ‘My Buddy,’ the guitarist wrangles with his instrument to create dense pileups, the impossibly fast runs leading into a similarly complex reading of ‘Gone With the Wind.’’
    • ‘With their pileup of evidence, the encyclopedism gives the illusion (and it is an illusion really) that all elements of a given society and culture have been covered.’
    • ‘What's more, the prose - a comma-studded pileup of naïvely poetic sentence fragments - is so elaborately loose that it must be counterfeit.’
    • ‘That musky pileup of alabaster limousines and poorly cut tuxedos and spangled evening bags fat with Ecstasy, all of it the blazing hot sunset of a long, hard childhood!’
    • ‘An enormous inventory pileup contributed to $3.4 billion in special charges this spring, making the company's worst-ever quarterly loss inevitable.’
    • ‘The ‘rest’ players get will either be spent playing lucrative friendlies abroad, or will be ruined by some other fixture pile-up caused later in the season.’
    • ‘Wanderers' promotion push is now threatened by a fixture pile-up as the FA Cup fourth round tie with Mansfield was called off three times last week.’
    accumulation, logjam, pile-up, pile, heap, mountain, excess
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