to pile up

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - pile up

"to pile up"

1) to arrange into a heap or pile

2) to accumulate or cause to accumulate

3) to crash or wreck, especially vehicles


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - pile up

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Where do you want these reports? There does not seem to be any room on your desk.

Colleague 2: Could you just pile up all the similar reports, please, and then put that one on the top? Maybe there might be a clear spot on my desk if everything is arranged in piles.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - pile up

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Are you excited to go on your vacation?

Colleague 2: I am really looking forward to it but I am worried about all the work that will pile up when I am gone.

Colleague 1: Try to ignore it. Enjoy your vacation. The collection of work that accumulates can be dealt with when you return.

Idiom Scenario 3

Idiom Definition - pile up

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: Looks like I will have to buy a new car.

Friend 2: Why is that?

Friend 1: I had an accident on the freeway last week. I piled up my car. I ran into a telephone pole.

Friend 2: Are you OK?

Friend 1: Luckily all the safety features of my car deployed. I have a few bruises but miraculously, I am OK, although my car is totally destroyed.

Test Your Understanding  

to pile up - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   6,025   click for frequency by country

to pile up - Gerund Form:

Piling up your car is not a good way to keep your insurance premiums low.

to pile up - Examples:

1) That's because we don't want papers piling up in front of unoccupied homes. 

2)  I worked out how to get out of what would have been a multiple car pile up, fear is a great motivator.

3)  In Canada snow can be piled up around the tent, and the outer tenting tucked into this.

4)  This is because the phenomena leads to stronger easterly winds in the tropics that pile up warm water in the western Pacific and around Australia.

5)  There was potential for the team to fall into a tailspin with all the questions piling up and causing distractions.

6)  After too many "laters" the work piles up so high that any task seems insurmountable.

7)  Sitting in a dead vehicle with traffic piling up behind you is unnerving, but attempting to cross a high-speed freeway on foot ...

8)  ... and don't worry about the work piling up on your desk when you're on vacation. Live for now.

9)  You know better than to allow little things to pile up and become extra baggage you carry from the past into the future.

10)  But it is not always love lost that leads to hate. Years of piled up frustration and neglect too can make you start hating someone.

11)  But you probably do care about whether garbage piles up on the side of the country lane you stroll along on Sunday.

12)  Workers heading out on vacation legitimately worry about the work that can pile up while they're away.

13)  When I piled up a racing car years later at Willow Springs, and woke up debearded and ...

14)  Debris piles up near the foundations of the iconic boardwalk, which was washed away in the ...

15)  I have a headcount to fill, and until I do, the work is piling up. I want to fill this slot and move on to other tasks.

16)  If the lava is viscous enough, it will pile up above the vent to form a dome rather than move away as a lava.

17)  ... remove all debris (leaves, twigs, acorns) and such like stuff that pile up and clog the gutters.

18)  As their garbage piles up, they look for a place to dump it.

19)  Whiner is driving a car at 90mph and sees a pile up ahead. No need to slow down, there has been no catastrophic ...

20)  The stripe was laid down some 445 million years ago, as sediments slowly piled up on the bottom of an ancient ocean.