\ 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 infill 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 attributivelyfill flash

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for fill

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of fill in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb De Blasio said the city will use substitutes, student teachers and adjunct professors from the city's university system to help fill staffing needs. Julia Musto, Fox News, "Bill de Blasio ‘very confident’ in revised NYC school reopening timeline," 19 Sep. 2020 Cincinnati hosts Army on Saturday in a game added to fill a void in the nonconference schedule after games against Nebraska, Miami of Ohio and Western Michigan were cancelled due to COVID-19. Jeff Wallner, Star Tribune, "No. 13 Cincinnati rolls past Austin Peay 55-20 in opener," 19 Sep. 2020 One consequence of the impasse is that a group of council members have come together to fill the void. Eric Johnson, Dallas News, "Dallas mayor says council is cutting “backroom" budget deals. But some say he quit communicating," 19 Sep. 2020 With schools closed throughout the state, some hotels are stepping in to fill a void of remote learning spaces. Gregory Thomas,, "Hard-hit California hotels are turning rooms into office space, classrooms," 19 Sep. 2020 An intelligent player needed to fill the void at that position, Herron said. Carter Karels, The Indianapolis Star, "Notre Dame CB Nick McCloud nets impressive comparison. But All-American OT Aaron Taylor?," 18 Sep. 2020 Still, movies are being released this fall and into the winter — some in theaters, others on streaming services, as independent distributors try to fill the void the studios have left behind. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, "In a COVID-19 world, Hollywood will release some fall films, but hold back its blockbusters," 18 Sep. 2020 The company hopes its effort can help fill a void in jurisdictions where traditional polling locations are off-line because of safety issues during the pandemic. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Live Nation to convert music venues into polling sites, links up with LeBron James effort," 16 Sep. 2020 Sensing the need for someone to fill the void, quarterback Dwayne Haskins stood up and delivered an impassioned speech. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Ron Rivera gives Washington Football Team the resiliency it needed for legitimacy," 15 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The program was kind of a summer fill-in (on network television — what else was there back then), maybe four to six episodes, in the summer of 1978 (could be a year earlier or later). Rich Heldenfels, Star Tribune, "'Mayans' revs up for another season on FX," 28 Aug. 2020 Since then, the 25-foot-tall mound of in-fill has begun to erode at its edge, disgorging fragments of daily life in New York City from more than 100 years ago, according to Atlas Obscura. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "New York’s ‘Glass Bottle Beach’ Closed After Survey Finds Radioactive Waste," 24 Aug. 2020 Socialists, libertarians and everyone in between fill the discussion, and everyone gets something slightly different out of it. Washington Post, "The unemployed are taking their struggles to Reddit, a ‘beacon of light in this long dark night’," 21 Aug. 2020 From the makers of the aforementioned dad gift comes another fill-in-the-blank journal, perfect for any loved one in your life. Julianne Ross, CNN Underscored, "Our favorite Amazon products of 2020 so far," 19 Aug. 2020 Though the bottom-fill tank without a handle or wide opening may make refilling and cleaning a bit more cumbersome. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, "Breathe Easier With One of These 10 Best Humidifiers," 18 Aug. 2020 Stories about Taylor and the movement that has emerged following her death fill many of the publication's 100-plus pages. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "The Breonna Taylor Oprah Magazine is selling out around Louisville. Here's what's inside," 11 Aug. 2020 City of Annapolis offered fill-your-own sandbags at Truxtun Park Kenneth Dunn Municipal Pool parking lot in advance of Tropical Storm Isaias on Monday from 10am to 4pm. Mary Grace Keller,, "Masks and flashlights at the ready: Carroll County braces for Tropical Storm Isaias during pandemic," 3 Aug. 2020 His favorite fill-in co-host was always his wife Joy. Michael Gelman,, "Michael Gelman pays tribute to Regis Philbin: 'The son I never had and a bonus father all in one'," 30 July 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fill

Time Traveler for fill

Time Traveler

The first known use of fill was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for fill

Last Updated

24 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fill.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fill


How to pronounce fill (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!