\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

These preparations culminate on and for Diwali night, when many Indian cities are filled with their own hundreds of thousands of flickering lights, sourced from tiny clay oil lamps called diyas that collectively set the night sky ablaze. Noor Brara, Vogue, "Celebrating Diwali, in Light of the Midterms," 10 Nov. 2018 For instance, epithelial cystadenomas are benign growths that can be filled with a watery or mucous-based liquid, according to the Mayo Clinic. Korin Miller, SELF, "The Three Types of Ovarian Cancer You Should Know," 1 Nov. 2018 Getty Images Send huge thanks over to Prince Harry this morning, who’s gone to the effort of making sure that everyone’s Monday morning is filled with sunshine, smiles and all things joy. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry Already Has the Sweetest Nickname for His and Meghan Markle's Baby," 29 Oct. 2018 The duvet, also known as an insert, is generally defined as a flat bag that is filled with either down, wool, feathers, or a synthetic alternative. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Ultimate Guide to the Duvet Cover," 11 Oct. 2018 There are certain areas that are filled with symbols, while others are entirely empty. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The 12 Astrological Houses: Interpreting Your Birth Chart Beyond the Zodiac," 6 Oct. 2018 In Kiev, varenyk are steamed or boiled, and can be filled with everything from sour cherries to spinach. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Debatable Encyclopedia of Drunk Food," 1 Oct. 2018 The law requires that the detritus from a sector not fill more than 3.8 square inches. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Vanishing City," 13 Aug. 2018 Wilson has been a frequent critic of the mayor over local issues like taxes and filling vacancies on boards and commissions. Shawn R. Beals, Courant Community, "Middletown Republicans Outraged After Drew Calls Chair Racist In Facebook Post," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

My low-maintenance morning routine—a quick brush up and pencil fill-in—was suddenly taking up a lot more time. Jane Chertoff, SELF, "This Is Why Your Eyebrows Are Thinner Than They Used to Be—and What to Do About It," 13 July 2018 Cadillac Three's Storm Delay Sing-Along As fans waited out a weather delay (there was lightning in the area around 4 p.m.), The Cadillac Three's HGTV Lodge set was still a go and provided and fun fill-in for the shows that weren't able to happen. Taylor Weatherby, Billboard, "The 13 Best Moments From CMA Fest 2018 Day 4," 11 June 2018 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

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

16 Nov 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).


full of whispering sounds

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