\ ˈfil-ˌin How to pronounce fill-in (audio) \

Definition of fill-in

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone or something that fills in

fill in

filled in; filling in; fills in

Definition of fill in (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to enrich (something, such as a design) with detail
2 : to give necessary or recently acquired information to I'll fill you in

intransitive verb

: to fill a vacancy usually temporarily interns filled in for regular staffers

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Examples of fill-in in a Sentence

Verb my friend quickly filled me in on the portion of the movie that I had missed she's only filling in while the regular secretary is on vacation
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Keeping him separate from the team is insurance that if an outbreak happens between the quarterbacks, McCown can fly up and fill in. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Saints claim NFL wouldn’t allow sign-and-trade for Jadeveon Clowney, possibly involving Browns: NFL news roundup," 7 Sep. 2020 Much of the current reporting on COVID-19 requires guesswork to fill in the holes. Jessica Hullman, National Review, "We Need Better Risk Communication to Combat the Coronavirus," 19 Aug. 2020 And that’s not counting the five or six other players opposite him who’ve had to fill in and make emergency starts, either. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, "Cardinals may have finally found the perfect combo at OLB in Chandler Jones, Devon Kennard," 17 Aug. 2020 It’s now like other counties, and voters fill in an oval to cast a vote. Anthony Man,, "Your guide to voting by mail in Florida — and making sure your ballot gets counted," 11 Aug. 2020 McMahon, who will back up Daniel Murphy at first base and can fill in for Nolan Arenado at third when needed, played in 141 games last season, hitting .250 with 24 home runs and 83 RBIs. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Jeff Hoffman’s new delivery faces test in Rockies’ Cactus League opener," 19 Feb. 2020 During the pandemic, Jacinto said the group began to fill in free time with things like chalkboard via Zoom, drawing offensive and defensive plays on a board. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Spring ISD’s Armando Jacinto to lead Hispanic Texas High School Football Coaches Association," 15 Aug. 2020 In those few days, Americans first learning about this obscure potential vice-presidential candidate naturally turned to the Internet to fill in the details: Googling her name, clicking on a link shared by a Facebook friend, or turning to Wikipedia. Noam Cohen, Wired, "Why Wikipedia Decided to Stop Calling Fox a ‘Reliable’ Source," 10 Aug. 2020 The administration has yet to fill in key details of the plan. Christopher Rowland, Washington Post, "Trump order requires government to ‘buy American’ for certain essential drugs," 7 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fill-in.' 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-in


1917, in the meaning defined above


1840, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for fill-in

Time Traveler

The first known use of fill-in was in 1840

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Cite this Entry

“Fill-in.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce fill in (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fill-in

: someone who takes the place of another person who is away for a short time : someone who fills in for someone else

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