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.
Recent Examples on the Web That batch follows other shipments sent to Israel over the years to fulfill large munitions orders approved by Congress and the State Department in both 2012 and 2015, U.S. officials said. Edward Wong, New York Times, 6 Apr. 2024 Gonzalez, the Kaseya executive, insists there is nothing to worry about whether Kaseya can fulfill its commitments to the county. Vinod Sreeharsha, Miami Herald, 5 Apr. 2024 In a brief court filing on Thursday, the New York attorney general asked Trump or Hankey’s company to show that the company has the financial means to fulfill the $175 million bond. Robert Faturechi, ProPublica, 5 Apr. 2024 Herbert is expected to play a significant role as the team attempts to fulfill Harbaugh’s rougher vision. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2024 Florida police officers deliver grocery order following arrest of fugitive delivery driver Police officers in Titusville, Florida, fulfill a grocery order after arrested the delivery driver. Pilar Arias, Fox News, 1 Apr. 2024 This transition was forward-thinking, but the digital division struggled to fulfill its high aims due to tough competition and operational hurdles, failing to become a profit center. Jim Osman, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 Development interests say making regulations too stringent in the area would further hamstring efforts to fulfill Louisville’s dire housing needs. Connor Giffin, The Courier-Journal, 25 Mar. 2024 But—for your life to fulfill itself—you’ve got to do it. James Parker, The Atlantic, 25 Mar. 2024

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 13 Apr. 2024.

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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