American English

Definition of pile noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a number of things that have been placed on top of each other a pile of books/clothes/bricks He arranged the documents in neat piles. She looked in horror at the mounting pile of letters on her desk.
  2. 2[countable] a mass of something that is high in the middle and wider at the bottom than at the top synonym heap a pile of sand piles of dirty laundry
  3. 3[countable, usually plural] pile of something (informal) a lot of something I have piles of work to do. He walked out leaving a pile of debts behind him.
  4. 4[uncountable, singular] the short threads, pieces of wool, etc. that form the soft surface of carpets and some types of cloth such as velvet a deep-pile carpet Corduroy is the poor man's velvet; its pile is made of cotton rather than silk or satin.
  5. 5[countable] a large wooden, metal, or stone post that is fixed into the ground and used to support a building, bridge, etc.
  6. Idioms
    (at the) bottom/top of the pile
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    in the least/most important position in a group of people or things It's been 20 years since an American player was top of the pile.
    make a pile (of money)/make your pile (informal)
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    to make a lot of money The family made its pile from oil. I bet they made an absolute pile out of the deal.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pile