I am looking for a verb that would be something like an antonym for piling up, describing the action of raising a pile from the bottom, specially making the base of the pile wider. For example, like adding the lower layers of a pyramid from the bottom -- if that was technically possible.

Another way of putting it, after reading some of the comments, would be something in between "prop up", "jacking up" and "churning". The suggestion to use "churning" reminded me of the tale where a mouse fell into a bucket of milk and desperately began to kick and kick and swim and swim and churn. Until the kicking and swimming and churning turned the milk into cream, and then butter. And the mouse climbed to safety.

So would one say that the mice was "raised" or "jacked up" by the butter...

  • 2
    Pea-ing the princess? – MT_Head Jun 22 '11 at 5:34
  • 1
    @MT_Head: Somehow I think in speech you'd be rather misinterpreted. – Jon Purdy Jun 22 '11 at 6:34
  • @Jon Purdy - Ya think? – MT_Head Jun 22 '11 at 7:28
  • hm, piling down? – Unreason Jun 22 '11 at 8:10
  • After reading some of the answers below, I am thinking I would ideally need something in between "jacking up" and "churning". – 719016 Jun 22 '11 at 8:55

For example, like adding the lower layers of a pyramid from the bottom -- if that was technically possible.

Possibilities include:

  • Shore up
  • Prop up
  • Additional support
  • Buttress
  • Reinforce base

I envision a pile of stuff with a hole beneath, whence cometh more of said stuff. In that case, I'd call it bubbling, churning, or otherwise emanating upward, depending on the nature of the stuff in question.


Edit: After your change of question, I reckon the best word would be:

The mouse was bolstered by the butter.

The best I could find was "append":

In general, to append is to join or add on to the end of something

Nothing to indicate that the base was widening, but there's no specific word for such a phenomenon. You just have to describe it with multiple words i.e. Append, so that the base widened.


Since doing something like adding layers to the bottom of a pyramid doesn't happen very commonly, there's not really a ready phrase for it. You could use "jacking up", but that doesn't imply the "making the base wider part".


After your edit, I'd suggest that the mouse was "uplifted" by the butter.


It seems like you want a word to mean "expanding from the bottom upwards" ? I'm not sure if that is technically an antonym of "piling up"

but I suggest billow defined on wordreference as


to rise up, swell out, or cause to rise up or swell out

A couple of synonyms here are upsurge and heft up

upsurge is a rapid rise or swelling, while "heft up" means elevate

  • My apologies, my bad. – Thursagen Jun 22 '11 at 8:07
  • Interesting, I didn't know about billowing before. I can only google for examples of billowing being used for smoke, I am looking for something more solid. – 719016 Jun 22 '11 at 8:33
  • @avilella: billow is also used for sea waves, but I also suggest upsurge for something more solid. – JoseK Jun 22 '11 at 8:44

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