Definition for PILE

PILE, n.2 [D. paal; G. pfahl; Sw. and Dan. pol, a pole; L. palus; D. pyl, an arrow or dart; Sw. and Dan. pil, id.; W. pill, a stem. These have the same elements and the like radical meaning, that of a shoot or extended thing.]

  1. A large stake or piece of timber, pointed and driven into the earth, as at the bottom of a river, or in a harbor where the ground is soft, for the support of a building or other superstructure. The stadthouse Amsterdam is supported by piles.
  2. One side of a coin; originally, a punch or puncheon used in stamping figures on coins, and containing the figures to be impressed. Hence the arms-side of a coin is called the pile, and the head the cross, which was formerly in the place of the head. Hence cross and pile. – Encyc.
  3. In heraldry, [one of the lesser ordinaries, resembling a pile used in laying the foundations of buildings in watery places, whence it has its name. – E. H. B.]

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