pile·​up | \ ˈpī(-ə)l-ˌəp How to pronounce pileup (audio) \

Definition of pileup

1 : a collision involving usually several motor vehicles
2a : a jammed tangled mass or pile (as of motor vehicles or people) resulting from collision or accumulation

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Examples of pileup in a Sentence

A five-car pileup slowed traffic. a pileup of e-mail messages that needed to be dealt with
Recent Examples on the Web Acey said trash pileup attracts rodents and vermin and increases risk to bacteria exposure, and the odor can cause headaches and other physical symptoms. NBC News, 14 Sep. 2021 And the next time through the turn, seven more cars were involved in the pileup bringing out another red flag. Michael Marot, ajc, 16 Aug. 2021 That led to a massive 10-race pileup and the red flag was out for roughly 20 minutes. Dan Gelston, ajc, 9 Aug. 2021 That led to a pileup of around 100 planes by the end of April, many of which Boeing had hoped to deliver by year-end. Andrew Tangel, WSJ, 13 July 2021 All these things can be good in their own way, but there can also be better things out there, and the pileup of attention is starting to look suspicious. Darren Franich, EW.com, 13 July 2021 In video footage from the incident, which took place with about 45 kilometers to go, a fan holding a sign ventured too far into the road and caused a cyclist to lose control of his bike, leading to a massive pileup. Ally Mauch, PEOPLE.com, 26 June 2021 Investigators believe slick roads from Tropical Storm Claudette may have caused some of the vehicles to hydroplane, which led to the deadly pileup. Jessi Mitchell, CBS News, 21 June 2021 Kortni Sawyer, 30, her son Riggins, 6, daughter Franki, 2, brother-in-law Race, 37, and nephew Ryder, 12, were killed in a 22-car pileup on Interstate 15 near Fillmore, the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) said in a statement. Vanessa Etienne, PEOPLE.com, 28 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pileup.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pileup

1900, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pileup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pileup. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for pileup



English Language Learners Definition of pileup

: an accident in which several or many vehicles crash into each other
: a large amount of something that has increased gradually over a period of time


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