Definition of pileup in US English:



  • 1A crash involving several vehicles.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘Among the crashes was a large pile-up on the M62 near Goole, in which eight people were hurt - four of them seriously.’
    • ‘The car had stopped in front of a three-car pile-up.’
    • ‘If there's an accident, accelerometers can alert the network to the crash, before it turns into a multiple vehicle pile-up.’
    • ‘However, on this highway, there had apparently been a three-car pile-up and traffic was practically stopped.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At each signal, there is a traffic pile-up and vehicles move at a snail's pace.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A single accident, involving a three-car pile-up that left 85 people injured, occurred on Tuen Mun Road in January 2003.’
    • ‘The M6 in Cheshire was forced to close on Saturday after a 42-vehicle pile-up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two people were killed in a three-car pile-up on the B6451, between Harrogate and Otley.’
    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.
      • ‘What about the pileup on Moore when he hit the ice?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Grand-theft football is not the only offense perpetrated in NFL pileups.’
      • ‘If you are lucky you won't encounter any human pileups.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the ensuing pileup, Carmichael broke a collarbone.’
  • 2An accumulation of a specified thing.

    ‘a massive pileup of data’
    • ‘The Easter fixture pile-up imposed on Wenger's team would have weakened anyone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘We have a few games in hand on most clubs and we are getting a bit of a fixture pile-up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Because of the boom in 2000, the semiconductor manufacturers and suppliers anticipated high demand in 2001, which resulted in an inventory pileup.’
    • ‘Caught at the bottom of this massive pile-up is usually the little guy - the farmer or worker in the affected industry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What's more, the prose - a comma-studded pileup of naïvely poetic sentence fragments - is so elaborately loose that it must be counterfeit.’
    • ‘Sense is inevitably degenerating into nonsense, like a pileup of random mutations in an endangered species gasping its last breaths.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘An enormous inventory pileup contributed to $3.4 billion in special charges this spring, making the company's worst-ever quarterly loss inevitable.’
    • ‘This means they may face a fixture pile-up towards the end of the campaign, especially if a heavy winter brings further call-offs.’
    • ‘There were massive pileups of luggage at its facility in Philadelphia.’
    • ‘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.’
    accumulation, logjam, pile-up, pile, heap, mountain, excess
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