1 of 2


: someone or something that fills in

fill in

2 of 2


filled in; filling in; fills in

transitive verb

: to enrich (something, such as a design) with detail
: 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

Examples of fill-in in a Sentence

Noun I'm just a fill-in, so I have no idea where office supplies are kept 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
Loud and clear The names painted on the Los Angeles skyscrapers are the faster and easier-to-complete fill-ins, since time is at a premium and the artists risk arrest. Colette Gaiter, The Conversation, 15 Feb. 2024 After all, multiple players ahead of him on the depth chart were injured, and others who had received fill-in opportunities did little with them. Daniel Sperry, Kansas City Star, 3 May 2024 The laser instrument appeared to serve as a suitable fill-in, and everything appeared to be working until the spacecraft went silent for several minutes. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, 22 Feb. 2024 Practice squad fullback Jason Cabinda also can play as a fill-in tight end. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 24 Jan. 2024 Garner, who was a last-minute fill-in speaker to replace Laura Dern and Don Cheadle Thursday, could not have been more proud to have worked with and grown close to her costar. Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 9 Feb. 2024 At the time of the reshuffling announcement, MSNBC noted its intention to keep Hasan on as an analyst and fill-in host. Becket Adams, National Review, 14 Jan. 2024 The network had announced in November that Hasan would lose his weekly show after three years but would remain as an analyst and fill-in anchor. David Bauder, Fortune, 9 Jan. 2024 Zack Moss Position: Running back Age: 26 2023 salary cap hit: $1.15 million With the Colts: Moss has been an able fill-in when Jonathan Taylor has missed time with injuries. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Jan. 2024
That means the state would use only $4.2 billion in reserves during the upcoming fiscal year, leaving an $8.9 billion gap the administration had to fill in other ways. Lindsey Holden, Sacramento Bee, 10 May 2024 Sanborn moved to strongside linebacker and filled in capably when Edmunds was out. Colleen Kane, Chicago Tribune, 7 May 2024 Follow the water Our work has filled in a piece of the puzzle of how water is lost from planets, which affects how habitable a planet is for life. Eryn Cangi, The Conversation, 6 May 2024 And when Stanford’s best kicker had to miss time, freshman Kirsten Lees was more than capable of filling in. Joseph Dycus, The Mercury News, 3 May 2024 From form-fitting skinny jeans to flowy, tiered maxi dresses, there are a variety of styles that will fill in your style gaps and pull you out of a fashion rut. Wendy Vazquez, Southern Living, 26 Apr. 2024 Counting the bullpen game that filled in for him Wednesday and Daulton Jefferies’ spot start in the fourth game of the season, the Giants fell to 0-5 in those contests. Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 24 Apr. 2024 Now, the United Nations has taken a first step toward filling in these data gaps with the latest installment of its periodic report on e-waste around the world. Maddie Stone / Grist, Quartz, 23 Apr. 2024 At its core, the technology involves capturing an actor’s movements and expressions via high-tech sensors, at which point visual effects artists fill in the rest, turning the performers into mythical creatures and animals without requiring the use of makeup and prosthetics. Brent Lang, Variety, 18 Apr. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use


1917, in the meaning defined above


1840, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fill-in was in 1840

Dictionary Entries Near fill-in

Cite this Entry

“Fill-in.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

fill in

: to furnish with specified information
fill in an application
filled us in on the latest news
: to fill a vacancy usually temporarily : substitute
filled in during the emergency
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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