\ 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

Known for being dense and calorific, mooncakes are typically filled with lotus seed or red bean paste and a salted egg yolk symbolizing the moon. Washington Post, "Hong Kong bakery’s mooncakes carry protest movement slogans," 21 Aug. 2019 Although the trenches will be filled, there are still catch basins to be installed, as well as the actual widening of the intersection. Thomas Jewell,, "Solon addresses, redresses complaints on SOM-Aurora intersection project," 20 Aug. 2019 An Orlando man whose SUV was filled with empty beer bottles has been charged with DUI manslaughter 1½ years after a Lake County crash that led to the death of a Groveland man, records show. Jerry Fallstrom,, "Orlando man charged with DUI manslaughter in 2018 Lake County crash," 20 Aug. 2019 At dusk, there will be a balloon glow, when all the balloons are filled with gas and lit up. Susan Dunne,, "Here’s what you need to know about this year’s free, 3-day hot-air balloon festival in Plainville," 19 Aug. 2019 Created by graphic designers Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth with photographer Brian Kelly, Parks is filled with 384 pages of U.S. National Park brochures, maps, posters, and more that span decades of design styles. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Love national parks? You’re going to want this new book," 19 Aug. 2019 Koch Industries won’t detail its succession plan beyond saying that one is in place and that roles are filled by those most qualified. Tom Maloneybloomberg, Los Angeles Times, "Koch Industries bets on tech: ‘Do it or we’ll end up in the Dumpster’," 19 Aug. 2019 The defense is filled with sophomores — most notably linebacker Merlin Robertson — who played through growing pains last year and could be a lot better in Year 2 under Herm Edwards. Ralph D. Russo, The Denver Post, "Minnesota, Baylor among college football’s dark horse league contenders," 18 Aug. 2019 With the sale rapidly approaching, all that’s left to do now is pick out your favorite items so that your cart is filled to the brim with savings. Alexis Rhiannon, Allure, "Dermstore’s 20th Anniversary Sale Is Happening Now — Here’s What to Shop," 16 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

24 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 haphazard or makeshift solution

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