"to heap (up), lay or throw in a heap," c. 1400, from pile (n.1). Related: Piled; piling. Figurative verbal phrase pile on "attack vigorously, attack en masse," is attested by 1894, American English. To pile in "climb or go on or into in a crowd" is by 1841; hence, for the reverse process, pile out, by 1896.
late 14c., "thing of little use or value, waste, refuse, dross," perhaps from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse tros "rubbish, fallen leaves and twigs," Norwegian dialectal trask "lumber, trash, baggage," Swedish trasa "rags, tatters"), of unknown origin. Applied to ill-bred persons or groups from 1604 ("Othello"), and especially of poor whites in the U.S. South by 1831. Applied to domestic refuse or garbage from 1906 (American English). Trash-can is attested from 1914. To trash-talk someone or something is by 1989.
early 15c., "heap or stack of something," usually consisting of an indefinite number of separate objects arranged in a more or less regular conical or pyramidal form, from Old French pile "a heap, a stack," and directly from Latin pila "a pillar," also "stone barrier, pier" (see pillar).
The sense development in Latin would have been from "pier, harbor wall of stones," to "something heaped up." Middle English pile also could mean "pillar supporting something, pier of a bridge" (mid-15c.). In English, the verb in the sense of "to heap (up)" is recorded from c.1400.
Middle English also had a noun pile meaning "castle, tower, stronghold (late 14c.), which persisted in a sense of "large building." OED regards this as a separate word, of doubtful origin, but other sources treat them as the same.
late Old English pil "sharp stake or stick," also, poetically, "arrow, dart," from Latin pilum, the name of the heavy javelin of the Roman foot soldier (source of Old Norse pila, Old High German pfil, German Pfeil "arrow"), a word of uncertain origin. De Vaan finds the identification of it with the pilum that means "pestle, pounder" (from *pis-tlo-, from the root of pinsere "to crush, pound;" see pestle) to be defensible.
In engineering and architecture, "a heavy timber beam, pointed or not, driven into the soil for support of a structure or as part of a wall." It also has meant "pointed head of a staff, pike, arrow, etc." (1590s) and the word is more or less confused with some of the sense under pile (n.1).
mid-14c., "downy plumage;" late 15c, "fine, soft hair," from Anglo-French pyle or Middle Dutch pijl, both from Latin pilus "a hair" (source of Italian pelo, Old French pel), a word of uncertain origin. Phonological evidence rules out transmission of the English word via Old French cognate peil, poil. Meaning "soft, raised surface of a regular and closely set kind upon cloth" is from 1560s.
"multi-vehicle crash," 1929, from verbal phrase pile up "to heap up" (c. 1400), which is attested from 1849 as "to accumulate," 1899 as "to wreck in a heap" (see pile (v.)).
1824, originally in African-American vernacular in the South.
The slaves themselves entertain the very highest contempt for white servants, whom they designate as 'poor white trash.' [Fanny Kemble, journal, Jan. 6, 1833]
[T]he term [poor white] is rather loosely applied by Northern writers even to mountaineers and to small farmers who live on a precarious footing. But in the Southern conception, not everyone who is both poor and white is a "poor white." To the Southerner, the "poor white" in the strictest sense is a being beyond the pale of even the most generous democratic recognition; in the negro's term, "po' white trash," or so much social débris. [Robert Penn Warren, "The Briar Patch," 1930, footnote]
"place where refuse is dumped, pile or heap of refuse matter," 1865, originally of mining operations, from dump (v.). In reference to sites for discarding domestic trash by 1872. Dumping-ground is by 1857. Meaning "any shabby place" is from 1899. Military sense of "collection of ammunition, equipment, etc. deposited in a convenient place for later use" is by 1915. Meaning "act of defecating" is from 1942. Dump-truck is from 1930.