verb ful·fill \ fu̇(l)-ˈfil also fə(l)- \
variants: or fulfil
|Updated on: 16 Aug 2018

Definition of fulfill

fulfilled; fulfilling
1 archaic : to make full : fill
  • her subtle, warm, and golden breath … fulfills him with beatitude
  • —Alfred Tennyson
2 a : to put into effect : execute
  • He fulfilled his pledge to cut taxes.
b : to meet the requirements of (a business order)
  • Their order for more TVs was promptly fulfilled.
c : to bring to an end
  • she came to install herself and fulfill her time at the house
  • —Willa Cather
d : to measure up to : satisfy
  • She hasn't yet fulfilled the requirements needed to graduate.
3 a : to convert into reality
  • a sense of the failure of life to fulfill its ultimate expectations
  • —Leslie Rees
b : to develop the full potentialities of
  • He has a lot of talent, but he hasn't really fulfilled his potential.



Examples of fulfill in a Sentence

  1. He fulfilled his pledge to cut taxes.

  2. She failed to fulfill her obligations.

  3. The program is intended to fulfill the basic needs of children in the community.

  4. If we could have that house, our dreams would be fulfilled.

  5. He fulfilled his childhood wish to become a professional baseball player.

  6. She fulfilled her life's ambition when she started her own business.

  7. He's trying to fulfill himself as an artist.

Recent Examples of fulfill from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fulfill.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of fulfill

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

FULFILL Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of fulfill for English Language Learners

  • : to do what is required by (something, such as a promise or a contract)

  • : to succeed in doing or providing (something)

  • : to succeed in achieving (something) : to make (something, such as a dream) true or real

FULFILL Defined for Kids


verb ful·fill
variants: or fulfil \fu̇l-ˈfil\

Definition of fulfill for Students

fulfilled; fulfilling
1 : to make real
  • fulfill a dream
2 : satisfy 4
  • fulfill a requirement


\-mənt\ noun

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