\ ˈfil How to pronounce fill (audio) \
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

Or pouring into the relationships that then fill us back up. T. Wise, Bon Appétit, "I Thought It’d Be Easy to Fix My Bad Posture—I Was Wrong," 7 Aug. 2019 People faced with blanks tend to fill them in using their darkest imaginations. Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: Keeping a cancer scare a secret doesn’t serve anyone," 7 Aug. 2019 The farro in this salad is hearty, helping to fill you up but not weigh you down. Lauren Salkeld, NBC News, "Beat the heat with these no-oven dinners for your Instant Pot, slow cooker, air fryer and more," 7 Aug. 2019 People faced with blanks tend to fill them in using their darkest imaginations. Carolyn Hax,, "Carolyn Hax: Should you scare loved ones with your cancer scare?," 6 Aug. 2019 These super cute photos of Ny and Nolyn’s global adventures will put a smile on your face, and fill you with just the right dose of feel good to get your weekend off to a great start. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "This Mother-Son Duo's Global Adventures Are The Perfect Feel Good Moment We All Need," 2 Aug. 2019 The city would also have to build dikes to construct the island and fill them with 86 million 1-ton cubic yards of fill dirt dredged from the lake’s bottom. Vince Guerrieri, Popular Mechanics, "That Time NASA Wanted to Build a Floating Airport on Lake Erie," 2 Aug. 2019 Just as important, however, is knowing which wine to fill them with. Sara Mae Albert, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Plan a Casual Chic Dinner Party," 2 Aug. 2019 Further, CVS Health said, its distribution centers have a monitoring system for suspicious orders, and, in retail pharmacies, pharmacists are provided with tools to help them evaluate controlled substance prescriptions before filling them. Steve Hamm,, "675M pills: Prescription opioids targeted Connecticut’s most vulnerable citizens," 1 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Sox need to preserve some financial flexibility for call-ups and roster fill-ins — conservatively, perhaps another $2 million — as well as perhaps another $1 million in potential incentive and bonus money. Alex Speier,, "What to expect from the Red Sox before Wednesday’s trade deadline," 29 July 2019 For the past week the Pentagon has been run by yet another fill-in, Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer. NBC News, "Senate confirms Army veteran Mark Esper secretary of defense," 23 July 2019 But after nearly six months as the fill-in, the former Boeing executive abruptly quit . Robert Burns, Twin Cities, "Mark Esper sworn in as defense secretary to succeed Jim Mattis," 23 July 2019 For the past week the Pentagon has been run by yet another fill-in, Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer. Robert Burns, The Denver Post, "Senate confirms Army veteran Mark Esper secretary of defense," 23 July 2019 Though Austin Ekeler is a competent fill-in, Gordon has more offensive touches (1,079) in the last four years than any back other than Gurley. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "50 things to know about NFL teams' training camps in 2019," 15 July 2019 Green snapping turtles were abundant in the first colonies, and early settlers ate their fill of the meat. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Snapping turtles: 5 things you need to know," 14 July 2019 The fill-ins included a graduate transfer who parted ways with the team in midseason (Tim Hough), a freshman safety (Christian Young) and a walk-on who’s no longer on the roster (Azizi Hearn). Michael Lev, azcentral, "Counting down the most valuable Arizona Wildcats for 2019 football season," 9 July 2019 Those drum fills are massive and the interplay of noises keeps us on our toes. Kat Bein, Billboard, "The 10 Best Rezz Songs," 23 July 2019

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

Verb and Noun

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

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Statistics for fill

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce fill (audio) \
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 How to pronounce fill (audio) \

Medical Definition of fill

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on fill

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fill

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fill

Spanish Central: Translation of fill

Nglish: Translation of fill for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fill for Arabic Speakers

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).


a period when something is suspended

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