- 1An untidy collection of objects placed haphazardly on top of each other: a disordered heap of boxes her clothes lay in a heap on the floorMore example sentences
pile, stack, mass, mound, mountain, quantity, load, lot, bundle, jumble; collection, accumulation, gathering; assemblage, store, stock, supply, stockpile, hoard, aggregation, agglomeration, accrual, conglomeration; Scottish , Irish , & Northern English rickle; Scottish bing• rare amassment
- Everything from framed pictures to cricket memorabilia were laid out in heaps on the floor, as they were photographed as part of an official record.
- Wet, bloody feathers lay in heaps on the floor. ‘They go in dressed, and come out undressed,’ jokes the factory manager.
- Or, if you are planning on a Christmas theme, your Christmas wedding favors may be in the form of crackers, piled in heaps around the tables for guests to collect.
- 1.1An amount of a particular loose substance: a heap of gravelMore example sentences
- If the film flops, the banks will only have a heap of cans and nothing else.
- There's an unfinished attempt at a deck, no more than a heap of firewood, in one of the back corners, and a small dumping area in the other where the previous owners used to tip grass cuttings.
- 2 (a heap of/heaps of) • informal A large amount or number of: we have heaps of roomMore example sentences
a lot, lots, a large amount, a fair amount, much, a good/great deal, a deal, a great quantity, quantities, an abundance, a wealth, a profusion, plenty, masses; many, a great many, a large number, a considerable number, a huge number, numerous, scores, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions• informal a load, loads, loadsa, a pile, piles, oodles, stacks, scads, reams, wads, pots, oceans, a mountain, mountains, miles, tons, zillions, gazillions, bazillions, more … than one can shake a stick atBritish • informal a shedload, lashingsNorth American • informal gobsAustralian/New Zealand • informal a swag• vulgar slang a shitloadNorth American • vulgar slang an assload
- I could list off a whole heap of things that are sitting in my room that I couldn't stand to see get broken, wrecked, destroyed or misplaced.
- He gives you some great gig in which you make a whole heap of money, and you're just on top of the world and on every magazine cover, but your personal life is miserable.
- As it was, I bought a few things for myself, and a whole heap of Christmas presents (two of which got broken on the way back, sadly).
adverb(heaps) British • informal Back to top
- A great deal: ‘How do you like Maggie?’ ‘I like you heaps better!’More example sentences
- I have to say, though, that it really is a lot of fun, and heaps better than painting pebbles.
- I still want to be able to earn some cash from writing at some point - the recent writing I've done has been heaps better than any of my earlier work - but it's going to be a slow road ahead unless I get lucky.
- Thanks heaps for you wonderful and energetic review!
verb[with object] Back to top
- 1Put (objects or a loose substance) in a heap: she heaped logs on the fire heaped up in one corner was a pile of junkMore example sentences
- Piles of wood were heaped up at crossroads and street corners.
- When building homes, dusky-footed wood rats heap sticks into protective piles that may reach several feet in height and width.
- The amount of garbage the city generates is staggering - piles and piles of rubbish are heaped on the sidewalks by the end of the day.
- 1.1 (heap something with) Load something copiously with: he heaped his plate with riceMore example sentences
- The U.S. soldiers lined up at the truck, heaping their plates with food.
- I guess that's why I haven't actively tried to talk with him about my troubles - I don't want to heap his plate with my issues when he has his own to deal with.
- Most beginners heap their plate with two or three of their favourite items, and soon find that they have no appetite for several of the exotic dishes.
- 1.2 (heap something on/upon) Bestow praise, abuse, or criticism liberally on: they once heaped praise on herMore example sentences
- They have heaped praises on the teacher-turned Minister who spent a large part of his life teaching chemistry and retired as the Head of the Department at the college.
- But they heaped much praise upon each other and all pledged to work together on Nunavut's problems.
- Feel free to pour your scorn or heap your praise upon us.
- 1.3 (as adjective heaped) chiefly British (Of a spoon or other container) with the contents piled above the brim or edge: a heaped teaspoon of sugarMore example sentences
- Spread the beef slices out on a worktop and spoon a heaped tablespoon of filling into the centre of each.
- Once most of the crystals have dissolved, add another heaped spoon and continue to agitate, checking periodically on your progress.
- Drain the fish but keep the milk, add a good thick slice of butter to it, then when the butter has melted, whisk in a heaped tablespoon of flour and keep whisking (over a low heat) until the sauce thickens.
- 1.4 [no object] Form a heap: clouds heaped higher in the westMore example sentences
- I thought it was bad earlier this week, but it all heaped up on me today.
at the top (or bottom) of the heap
- (Of a person) at the highest (or lowest) point of a society or organization: she had come up the hard way from the very bottom of the heap those with grand hereditary titles remain at the top of the heapMore example sentences
- Well I'm sure many of you will have an opinion about whether rationality should remain at the top of the heap.
- Standing up and breathing was sufficient to put you at the top of the heap.
- The nutrients it drags up are the basis of a colossal food chain with the big pelagic predators (marlin, shark, tuna and swordfish) at the top of the heap.
be struck all of a heap
- • informal Be extremely disconcerted: those who are struck all of a heap when faced with a billMore example sentences
- The King was struck all of a heap by the sight, and knew not what had befallen him.
- He was struck all of a heap, and never seemed to know what ailed him.
- He had been wounded three times and used to say every morning: ‘They'd be struck all of a heap, those Boches, if they could see me now!’
heap coals of fire on someone's head
- British Go out of one’s way to cause someone remorse: she did not want her sister to heap coals of fire on her head when she came home[with biblical allusion to Rom. 12:20]More example sentences
- For in doing this you will heap coals of fire on his head.
- The relatives of the other three heap coals of fire on my head by continuing to seek medical advice from me.
- The fact that we have been forgiven by God ought to heap coals of fire on our head, as the Scripture says.
in a heap
- With the body completely limp: he landed in a heap at the bottom of the stairsMore example sentences
- In a freak accident, Barry went down in a heap outside his own penalty area and took no further part in the match.
- Down through a basement I fell and landed in a heap in a dank tunnel.
- They grab hold of each other and finally collapse in a heap, out of exhaustion.
Old English hēap (noun), hēapian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hoop and German Haufen.