\ ˈfil \
filled; filling; fills

Definition of fill 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to put into as much as can be held or conveniently contained fill a cup with water

b : to supply with a full complement the class is filled

c(1) : to cause to swell or billow wind filled the sails

(2) : to trim (a sail) to catch the wind

d : to raise the level of with fill filled land

e : to repair the cavities of (teeth)

f : to stop up : obstruct wreckage filled the channel

g : to stop up the interstices, crevices, or pores of (a material, such as cloth, wood, or leather) with a foreign substance

2a : feed, satiate fill livestock

b : satisfy, fulfill fills all requirements

c : make out, complete used with out or in fill out a formfill in the blanks

d : to draw the playing cards necessary to complete fill a straight or flush in poker

3a : to occupy the whole of smoke filled the room

b : to spread through music filled the air

c : to make full a mind filled with fantasies

4a : to possess and perform the duties of : hold fill an office

b : to place a person in fill a vacancy

5 : to supply as directed fill a prescription

6 : to cover the surface of with a layer of precious metal a gold-filled bracelet

intransitive verb

: to become full the rivers filled

fill one's shoes

: to take over one's job, position, or responsibilities No one will be able to fill his shoes after he retires.



Definition of fill (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a full supply especially : a quantity that satisfies or satiates eat your fill

2 : something that fills: such as

a : material used to fill a receptacle, cavity, passage, or low place

b : a bit of instrumental music that fills the pauses between phrases (as of a vocalist or soloist)

c : artificial light used in photography to reduce or eliminate shadows often used attributively fill flash

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Synonyms & Antonyms for fill

Synonyms: Verb

brim, charge, cram, heap, jam, jam-pack, load, pack, stuff

Synonyms: Noun

filler, filling, padding, stuffing, wadding

Antonyms: Verb

clear, empty, evacuate, vacate, void

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Examples of fill in a Sentence


May I fill your glass for you? She filled her house with antiques. His massive body filled the doorway. He has enough books to fill a library. Two hundred people filled the room. fill a sheet of paper with writing a vase filled with flowers stadiums filled with cheering fans The rivers have filled and are close to flooding. The stadium filled more than an hour before the game.


They delivered a truckload of fill for the trench. we ripped the tag off years ago, so we have no idea what the fill in that pillow is
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And the runways were filled with all these fantastic people from all over the world. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Dianne Benson, A Maverick Retailer in 1980s New York, Talks Fashion, Art, and Collaborators Like David Wojnarowicz and Cindy Sherman," 13 July 2018 The room is rarely filled with people, and more rarely still with passion and rancor. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "David Beckham confronts his biggest fight yet to (finally) bring MLS soccer to Miami," 12 July 2018 Oils are filled with good-for-your-skin antioxidants. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About Putting Oils on Your Face," 12 July 2018 Both Saturday and Sunday will be filled with family activities. Ginger Brashinger, Daily Southtown, "Proud American Days to close out July with food, fun and entertainment," 11 July 2018 As of 2016, the ocean was filled with at least 150 million tons of plastic. Erin Corbett, Fortune, "These 8 Companies Are Ditching Plastic Straws. Here’s How They Are Replacing Them," 11 July 2018 It was mostly filled with Cowboys players and retired NFL stars. Clarence E. Hill Jr., star-telegram, "Cowboys star joins Tony Romo as co-owner of fantasy football convention in Fort Worth," 11 July 2018 Most acne treatments on the market are filled with irritating ingredients that strip your skin of natural oils. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "The Best Face Oil for Every Single Skin Type," 11 July 2018 The market is filled with entrenched incumbents who control access to prescription drugs, medical services, and even the customers themselves. Casey Ross, STAT, "As Atul Gawande steps into a risky health CEO role, here are five challenges he faces," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

It was built on fill dredged from the Potomac River. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, "Battered by time, nature and antiaircraft fire, Lincoln Memorial gets facelift," 14 June 2018 Inside the pillow, there’s a polyester microfiber fill. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "The Casper Nap Pillow Is Your Next $35 Travel Companion," 5 June 2018 My friend uses them as fill and ground cover, which made me realize they can be set free from a pot. Kenneth Setzer, miamiherald, "When grass or gravel won't do, these plants are easy and attractive ground cover | Miami Herald," 24 May 2018 Still, their presence in the music itself—tucked between squalls of guitar, propulsive rock fills, and hummable shalalas—resists easy definition. James Yeh, GQ, "Stephen Malkmus, the Dad of Indie Rock," 9 May 2018 In keeping with the brewery's anti-waste initiatives, low fills - bottles that come off the line not filled with the proper amount - are repurposed for baking. Marc Bona,, "Pastry chef Shelby Costo creates niche in Cleveland's dessert world," 9 May 2018 After browning chicken wings and onions, the 12 cups of water that the recipe called for brought it right up to my six-quart pot's fill line for pressure cooking. Joe Ray, WIRED, "A New Cookbook Takes Us Deep Into the World of the Instant Pot," 12 Apr. 2018 If an initial fill is needed for more than seven days worth of medication, members can ask their doctor to submit a one-time Prior Authorization (PA) for the medicine. Anna Beahm,, "BlueCross BlueShield changing opioid prescription policy," 20 Mar. 2018 But these beachside behind-the-scenes photos alone are better than any social media campaign — Hedlund and Hunnam playfully wrestling like two little bear cubs are enough to a fill a theater alone. Morgan Baila,, "Ben Affleck's Tattoo Is Starring In A Movie With Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund & Charlie Hunnam," 19 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fill.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fill


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fill


Middle English, from Old English fyllan; akin to Old English full full


see fill entry 1

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Statistics for fill

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fill

The first known use of fill was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for fill



English Language Learners Definition of fill

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make (something) full

: to become full

: to spread all through (an area, the air, etc.)



English Language Learners Definition of fill (Entry 2 of 2)

: a full amount : all that someone wants or needs

: material that is used to fill something


\ ˈfil \
filled; filling

Kids Definition of fill

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make or become full Please fill the tank. The pail filled slowly.

2 : to use up all the space or time in Meetings filled his schedule. Cars filled the street.

3 : to spread through Laughter filled the room.

4 : to stop up : plug The dentist filled a tooth.

5 : to do the duties of Who fills the office of class president?

6 : to hire a person for We have filled the position.

7 : to supply according to directions I need to fill a prescription.

8 : to succeed in meeting or satisfying You fill all requirements.

fill in

1 : to insert information Fill in the blanks.

2 : to provide information Fill me in on what's happening.

3 : to take another's place Can you fill in while I'm away?

fill out

1 : to increase in size and fullness The smaller plants are filling out.

2 : to complete by providing information Please fill out a form.



Kids Definition of fill (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : all that is wanted I ate my fill.

2 : material for filling something

\ ˈfil \

Medical Definition of fill 

1 : to repair the cavities of (teeth)

2 : to supply as directed fill a prescription

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Comments on fill

What made you want to look up fill? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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