(Latin: to gather, to pillage, to plunder, to rob, to steal, to snatch, to heap up (as stones) and to carry off)

Don't confuse the words in this pil- unit with the pil-, pilo- or "hair" group of words.

compellation, compilation
compellation (kahm" puh LAY shuhn) (noun)
The use of a name or title to address an individual: John Smith was the compellation of the author of the book.
compilation (kahm" puh LAY shuhn) (noun)
Something, such as a set of data, a report, or an anthology, that is gathered into a collection: Neal had an extensive compilation of research data for his report to the government.

Lorene's aunt, Mrs. Jones by compellation, gained academic recognition through her compilation of Folk Legends from the Far North.

compilation (s) (noun), compilations (pl)
1. The act of collecting information about something which is created by putting together things that have been gathered from various places; gathering, accumulating, assembling, aggregating, and drawing together: The compilation of the contents for this dictionary has taken years of researching and organizing and it is still far from completion.
2. Something, such as a set of data, a report, or an anthology, that is collected, or the process of bringing things together from various places to form a whole.
3. Anything that is produced; such as, reference books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.; which have been made up of material gathered from other printed sources.
4. The production of a new or revised map or chart from existing maps, aerial photographs, surveys, new data, or other sources.
5. The process of translating a high-level programming language into a machine-executable form.
compilatory (adjective)
A reference to a collection, assemblage, and assortment of material which has been gathered for a book, report, etc. by a compiler: "Jim's compilatory collection of books were useful for his research."
compile (verb), compiles; compiled; compiling
1. To bring things together from various places to form a whole; to collect and to organize information in units: Medical researchers have been able to compile thousands of case histories to prove the relationship between smoking and cancer.
2. To create something by putting things that have been gathered from various places into one group or collection: Henry tried to compile the statistical data about a company before he made any investments in it.
3. To gather into a single book or to put in one composition, from materials assembled from several sources: Jack spent a great deal of time trying to compile a dictionary of word families and he had a better collection than just about any other source.
4. To gather materials borrowed or transcribed into a volume or into an orderly form: The staff of writers took the best submissions of information they had gathered and were able to compile them into a single issue of the magazine they were working for.
5. Etymology: probably before 1325, compilen, borrowed from Old French compiler, a learned borrowing from Latin compilare, "to steal, to pillage, to plagiarize, to snatch together".

Originally, it meant "pile up"; com-, "together" + pilare, "to press, to compress, to ram down"; from pila, "pile, mass, heap".

As a result, compilare means "to gather for oneself by plundering or stripping from others".

The word first appeared in something related to its modern sense in a nickname applied to the poet Vergil (or Virgil) by an irreverent contemporary who called him compilator, "the plunderer", because of his imitation of Homer and other old authors.

Vergil's full name was Publius Vergilius Maro, a Roman poet. His greatest work is the epic poem Aeneid, that tells of the wanderings of the hero Aeneas after the sack of Troy, a mythical Greek warrior who was a leader on the Trojan side of the Trojan War.

—Much of the information for this compile background was revised from information in
Family Word Finder; prepared by the editors of the Reader's Digest
in association with Stuart B. Flexner; The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.;
Pleasantville, New York; 1975; page 163.
To gather and pout statistics together in orderly form.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

compiled (adjective)
1. Something which has been collected from authors; selected and put together.
2. A reference to putting together various songs, pieces of writing, facts, etc. in a publication or collection: "We took the best compiled sources of information and put the data into a single issue of the magazine."
3. That which is borrowed, plundered, or plagiarized; from Latin, compilare, "to plunder" or "to plagiarize".
compilement (s) (noun)
The act of piling together or heaping; coacervation (aggregation of a mixture of organic compounds): "The compilement of his research has resulted in a different kind of dictionary."
compiler (s) (noun), compilers (pl)
1. Someone who compiles or composes (a literary work, etc.) from other works.
2. A collector of (written or spoken) parts of other authors, or of separate papers or accounts.
3. Anyone who forms a book or composition from various authors or separate papers.
4. A computer programmer who organizes operations that translate high-level language programs into a set of machine language instructions.

Most programs also provide error checking and diagnostic messages, code optimization, and memory usage information.

decompile (verb), decompiles; decompiled; decompiling
decompiler (s) (noun), decompilers (pl)
oppilate (verb), oppilates; oppilated; oppilating
1. To block up a body passage; such as, a duct or a body opening including a pore.
2. Etymology: from Latin oppilate-, past participle of oppilare, "stop up"; which came from pilare, "to heap up" (as stones).
pile (s) (noun), piles (pl)
1. A vertical wood, metal, or concrete support or column for a building or other structure that is driven into the ground.
2. A long stake or pointed pole which is pushed into the ground to support something; such as, a building.
3. A collection or group of objects that are heaped, stacked, or laid on top of each other.
4. Etymology: "a pillar, a pier of a bridge", from Latin pila, "a stone barrier"; from Latin "pier, harbor wall of stones" then to "something that is heaped up".
pile (verb), piles; piled; piling
To put something in a stack: "Mary piled the books high on the floor and her clothes were piling up on the chair."

"Sam, what do you plan to do with those newspapers after you pile them up?"

pillar (s) (noun), pillars (pl)
1. A vertical column that is part of a building or some other structure and which can be either a support or a decoration.
2. A tall cylindrical vertical upright that is used to support a structure or a vertical structure standing alone and not supporting anything; such as, a monument.
3. A mainstay of an organization or society who is important and respected within a group: "Mike was a pillar of his church."
4. A basic fact, idea, or principle of something: "Henry's idea was the central pillar of the theory that the right to vote is a pillar of democracy."
5. Something which rises into the air in a tall, thin shape: "Leone could see pillars of smoke going up from the factory as she stood on a pillar of stone."
6. Etymology: from Old French piler; from Medieval Latin (about 700 to about 1500) pilare; from Latin pila, "pillar, stone barrier".

The figurative sense of "a prop" or "a support of an institution or community" is first recorded in the early 14th century.

pillar of strength (s) (noun), pillars of strength (pl)
Something, someone, or those who give support to or help during a difficult time or times: "William's church was his pillar of strength after his wife died."

"Mildred's friends were her pillars of strength when she was medically diagnosed as having incurable cancer."

pillory (s) (noun), pillories (pl)
A wooden frame with holes into which someone's head and hands could be locked, and which was formerly used as a method of public punishment.