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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Piles \Piles\, n. pl. [L. pila a ball. Cf. Pill a medicine.] (Med.) The small, troublesome tumors or swellings about the anus and lower part of the rectum which are technically called hemorrhoids. See Hemorrhoids.

Note: [The singular pile is sometimes used.]

Blind piles, hemorrhoids which do not bleed.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"hemorrhoids," c.1400, from Medieval Latin pili "piles," probably from Latin pila "ball" (see pill (n.)); so called from shape.


n. 1 (plural of pile English) 2 (context pathology English) haemorrhoids. 3 (context informal piles of English) A large amount of.

  1. n. pain caused by venous swelling at or inside the anal sphincter [syn: hemorrhoid, haemorrhoid]

  2. a large number or amount; "made lots of new friends"; "she amassed a mountain of newspapers" [syn: tons, dozens, heaps, lots, mountain, scores, stacks, loads, rafts, slews, wads, oodles, gobs, scads, lashings]

Usage examples of "piles".

She abandoned her watch on the bard and his halfling cohort while the pair was still digging through the piles of rubble.

The plain becomes studded in an instant with piles of corpses, even as the smiling surface of the sea will sometimes become studded in an instant with many islands uplifted by a sudden shock of earthquake.

Nearly all were fallen in, great beams and stones making vast piles of rubbish, the rubble and the remaining structure alike now half-hidden under mounds of white.

There were reddish piles of crumbled material that Hal could recognize as iron ore.

Every few minutes Andvari and his companion swapped places, keeping a fresh man at the hardest job, while the scattered piles of excavated rock and earth rapidly grew higher.

The gray cat came out of the barn shed and trotted miaowing toward the fire, but, nearly there, it turned and went directly to one of the little piles of rabbit entrails on the ground.

And little piles of Post Toasties, corn flakes, stacked up in designs.

Eight were in use, the women bending over, scrubbing the clothes, and the piles of wrung-out clothes were heaped on the clean concrete floor.

They used their short, powerful rear legs to propel them as they burrowed through salt flats and the piles of their castings.

They had built two roughly conical piles at the Stateline site in the last six years.

For the first time we can be certain that the piles are a product rather than a byproduct.

Nguyen my suspicion that the configuration of the piles and jewels might have some semiotic significance.

Since this site was almost three kilometers closer to the piles, we had to double our dosage of nosegays to cope with the big stink.

His arm appeared from behind one of the nearer piles, waving me toward him.

But that depends on stopping any further disturbance of the shitdogs, the casting piles or the jewels.