(Flashcards) Phrasal Verbs with “Pile” p.1

Phrasal verbs are easier to study if they are organised. So here is part one of the organised phrasal verbs series.

In part one, out verb is “pile”

NOTE: Most the definitions/examples are taken from Longman dictionary.

1. Pile in:

Meaning: if people pile in, they get into a vehicle very quickly.


  • Pierre came to pick them up, and they all piled in.

2. Pile (something) on:

Three usages:

A. pile it on/pile on the drama: to talk about something in a way that makes it seem much worse than it really is. Synonym: exaggerate.

Example: I know I’m piling it on a bit, but there is a serious point to be made.

B. pile on the pressure/agony: to show that you are much better than your opponent in a game


  • England piled on the pressure from the start.
  • It piled on the agony for Glasgow, who had passed up another chance two minutes before the break.

C. pile on the pounds: to gain a lot of body weight


  • She slimmed down a couple of years ago but has piled on the pounds again.
  • Most comfort eaters enjoy it while they’re eating, but the downside is they soon start to pile on the pounds.
  • To his relief the producers didn’t want him to pile on the pounds.

3. Pile out:

Meaning: if people pile out, they leave a place or get out of a vehicle quickly and in a disorganized way.

Example: Edward parked by the river and we all piled out.

4. Pile up:

Two usages:

A. to increase in quantity or amount, in a way that is difficult to manage.


  • It wasn’t long before the debts were piling up.
  • The traffic starts piling up around this time.
  • The work has a tendency to pile up if I’m not careful.

B. pile (something) up: to arrange things in a pile

Example: Tiny doughnuts piled up in a dish.

5. Pile into (something):

Meaning: Move in a disorderly group into. (Dictionary)

Example: The team piled into the bus.

For the flashcards: MemriseQuizlet

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