ful·​fill fu̇(l)-ˈfil How to pronounce fulfill (audio)
 also  fə(l)-
variants or fulfil
fulfilled; fulfilling

transitive verb

: to put into effect : execute
He fulfilled his pledge to cut taxes.
: to meet the requirements of (a business order)
Their order for more TVs was promptly fulfilled.
: to measure up to : satisfy
She hasn't yet fulfilled the requirements needed to graduate.
: to bring to an end
she came to install herself and fulfill her time at the houseWilla Cather
: to develop the full potentialities of
He has a lot of talent, but he hasn't really fulfilled his potential.
: to convert into reality
a sense of the failure of life to fulfill its ultimate expectationsLeslie Rees
archaic : to make full : fill
her subtle, warm, and golden breath … fulfills him with beatitudeAlfred Tennyson
fulfiller noun
Choose the Right Synonym for fulfill

perform, execute, discharge, accomplish, achieve, effect, fulfill mean to carry out or into effect.

perform implies action that follows established patterns or procedures or fulfills agreed-upon requirements and often connotes special skill.

performed gymnastics

execute stresses the carrying out of what exists in plan or in intent.

executed the hit-and-run

discharge implies execution and completion of appointed duties or tasks.

discharged his duties

accomplish stresses the successful completion of a process rather than the means of carrying it out.

accomplished everything they set out to do

achieve adds to accomplish the implication of conquered difficulties.

achieve greatness

effect adds to achieve an emphasis on the inherent force in the agent capable of surmounting obstacles.

effected sweeping reforms

fulfill implies a complete realization of ends or possibilities.

fulfilled their ambitions

Examples of fulfill in a Sentence

He fulfilled his pledge to cut taxes. She failed to fulfill her obligations. The program is intended to fulfill the basic needs of children in the community. If we could have that house, our dreams would be fulfilled. He fulfilled his childhood wish to become a professional baseball player. She fulfilled her life's ambition when she started her own business. He's trying to fulfill himself as an artist. See More
Recent Examples on the Web What amazes, again and again, is his uncanny ability not only to fulfill the commission but to take the level of execution up about five notches from what could reasonably be expected. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2023 As the nation’s rail companies double down on increasing the speed and frequency of trains to grow their profits, managers at all levels must fulfill that vision and decide if keeping the trains moving requires them to neglect repairs, ignore safety issues and fire those who complain. Danelle Morton, ProPublica, 18 Nov. 2023 The agreements helped fulfill the White House’s goal for the meeting — prove to voters that Biden’s dedication to personal diplomacy is paying off. Chris Megerian, Fortune, 16 Nov. 2023 Organized crime co-opts a lot of state functions, such as the police and sometimes the military, to fulfill their own needs. Los Angeles Times En Español, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2023 However, the policy excluded disposable devices, allowing for hundreds of unregulated brands to enter the U.S. market to fulfill new demands. Caitlin Pagán, Verywell Health, 3 Nov. 2023 Companies like Airbus and JPMorgan Chase are spending millions to buy carbon removal credits in order to fulfill corporate climate pledges. Brad Plumer, New York Times, 9 Nov. 2023 Broadcast series, which rely on fast-paced, shorter-length shoots in order to fulfill hefty episodic orders, are expected to be first up. Michael Schneider, Variety, 9 Nov. 2023 Jung Kook has had a busy few months, becoming the latest BTS member to officially launch his solo era as the group remains on hiatus while everyone fulfills their mandatory service requirements in Korea. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 8 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English fulfillen, from Old English fullfyllan, from full full entry 1 + fyllan "to fill entry 1"

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of fulfill was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near fulfill

Cite this Entry

“Fulfill.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fulfill. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants or fulfil
fulfilled; fulfilling
: accomplish
fulfill a promise
: to measure up to : satisfy
fulfill requirements
fulfiller noun

More from Merriam-Webster on fulfill

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