fill

1 of 2

verb

filled; filling; fills

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: feed, satiate
fill livestock
b
: satisfy, fulfill
fills all requirements
c
: make out, complete
used with out or in
fill out a form
fill in the blanks
d
: to draw the playing cards necessary to complete
fill a straight or flush in poker
3
a
: 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
4
a
: 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

2 of 2

noun

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
Phrases
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.

Examples of fill in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Tucker’s family and loved ones filled one side of the courtroom Friday. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 24 Feb. 2024 Even as recently as 2018, 51 million mainland Chinese tourists — about seven times the population of Hong Kong — visited the city, flocking to the local Disneyland or filling up suitcases stuffed with foreign goods such as baby formula to cart back across the border. Chris Lau, CNN, 24 Feb. 2024 Outside work, my time is filled with [list any recurring personal activities, hobbies, and commitments]. Jodie Cook, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 But this is Love Is Blind after all, so their road to the (possible) altar has been filled with twists, turns, and a whole lot of drama. Glamour, 23 Feb. 2024 But as the pair worked through their issues and came back from the brink of breaking up, they were filled with a new gratitude. Melinda Newman, Billboard, 23 Feb. 2024 Walkable Atlantic Avenue is filled with restaurants and shops, Pineapple Grove Arts District has colorful galleries, and the Cornell Art Museum offers cultural events and exhibits. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 23 Feb. 2024 But there’s another side to this trailblazer, a side filled with tragedy and tears. Demarco Williams, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Rozier, reflecting on another loss in a yet another season season filled with them, was downtrodden and tired of the defeats and injuries piling up. Roderick Boone, Charlotte Observer, 12 Feb. 2024
Noun
That's because coal ash is often used in much higher percentages within fill and often is not covered with much soil. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Feb. 2024 Had your fill of punishing investigations into toxic masculinity? David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Feb. 2024 There’s a selection of more than 100 tequilas and American whiskeys from which to take your pick, not to mention tostadas and tacos (from fish to chicken) to get your fill. Katie Toussaint, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 It’s made of a soft cotton sateen shell and recycled PET microfiber fill, with a baffle box construction that keeps the fill evenly distributed. Andrea Wurzburger, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Jan. 2024 Generally speaking, higher fill power jackets are more expensive, says Kelley. Michelle Rostamian, Peoplemag, 12 Jan. 2024 Amazon Essentials Women's Hooded Puffer Coat The shell, lining, and fill of this Amazon Essentials best-seller are all 100 percent polyester — a durable fabric that also keeps the cost low. Katie Jackson, Travel + Leisure, 13 Feb. 2024 A lot of a vest’s warmth is determined by its weight and fill, as well as the external materials and heat-trapping capabilities. Cai Cramer, Peoplemag, 11 Feb. 2024 In contrast, quilts are made with a fiber fill layer stitched between two layers of fabric. Sharon Brandwein, Southern Living, 19 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fill.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English fillen, fullen, fellen, going back to Old English fyllan, going back to Germanic *fulljan- (whence also Old Frisian fella "to fill," Old Saxon fullian, Old High German fullen, Old Icelandic fylla, Gothic fulljan), weak verb derivative from the stem of *fulla- full entry 1

Noun

(sense 1) Middle English fille, fulle, felle, going back to Old English fyllu, fyll, going back to Germanic *full-īn- (whence also Middle Dutch volle "full supply, fill," Old High German fullī, follī, Old Icelandic fylli, Gothic ufarfullei "superfluity"), from *fulla- full entry 1 + *-īn-, noun suffix of quality; (sense 2) derivative of fill entry 1

Note: As with other nouns originally formed with the suffix *-īn-, Old English has reclassed the nouns as regular *-ō feminine nouns by association with the suffix *-iþō.

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near fill

Cite this Entry

“Fill.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fill. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

fill

1 of 2 verb
1
: to put into as much as can be held or contained
fill one's plate
2
: to become full
puddles filling with rain
3
: satisfy sense 1a
fill all requirements
4
: to occupy fully : take up whatever space there is
clothes filled the closet
5
: to spread through
laughter filled the room
6
: to stop up (as holes) : plug
fill a crack with putty
fill a tooth
7
a
: to perform the duties of : occupy
fill the office of president
b
: to put a person in
filled several vacancies
8
: to supply according to directions
fill a prescription

fill

2 of 2 noun
1
: a full supply
especially : a quantity that satisfies
eat one's fill
2
: material used to fill a container, cavity, passage, or low place

Medical Definition

fill

transitive verb
1
: to repair the cavities of (teeth)
2
: to supply as directed
fill a prescription

More from Merriam-Webster on fill

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