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

Definition of fulfill

transitive verb

1a : 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 measure up to : satisfy She hasn't yet fulfilled the requirements needed to graduate.
d : to bring to an end she came to install herself and fulfill her time at the house— Willa Cather
2a : to develop the full potentialities of He has a lot of talent, but he hasn't really fulfilled his potential.
b : to convert into reality a sense of the failure of life to fulfill its ultimate expectations— Leslie Rees
3 archaic : to make full : fill her subtle, warm, and golden breath … fulfills him with beatitude— Alfred Tennyson

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Other Words from fulfill

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Cannabis fulfills many roles in people's lives - as a pain reducer, to help relieve the side-effects of chemotherapy, as a social salve - and legalization is bringing usage of the plant into more homes. Allison Volpe, chicagotribune.com, "How parents can talk to kids (and other parents) about cannabis in a shifting landscape," 16 Sep. 2019 Budget watchdogs warn that the winner of the 2020 presidential election won't have much budget headroom to work with, constraining their ability to launch new programs and fulfill campaign promises. Charles Riley, CNN, "WeWork chooses the Nasdaq for its IPO," 13 Sep. 2019 After the meeting, Albert emailed DHS a template of a single spreadsheet that, if maintained, would fulfill the requirements of the bill. oregonlive, "Oregon open records bill dies after governor’s staff privately contradicts her transparency pledge, documents show," 11 Sep. 2019 The deal, which would replace the Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has been a priority for Trump and would fulfill one of his campaign promises. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "It's been a month. Here's what Congress is set to do when they come back to D.C.," 9 Sep. 2019 However, those who know that Chrome OS will fulfill their personal and professional needs may want to shell out more money for a luxury device. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: How to buy a Chromebook, plus our best picks," 7 Sep. 2019 Jones will fulfill expectations created by last year’s 15.5-sack season, and the men around him also bring juice. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "Chiefs Boast a League-Leading Offense, But Can the Defense Play Its Part?," 20 Aug. 2019 They're scheduled to visit South Africa and Botswana, while Harry will fulfill solo working engagements in Malawi and Angola. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Archie Vacationed in the South of France," 19 Aug. 2019 They should be allowed to live their lives peacefully in a meaningful way with interests and goals, and fulfill their personal potential, without constant fear, trauma, torture, and the risk of death by being imprisoned. Wesley J. Smith, National Review, "Chimpanzee Liberation? Why Animal Rights and Human Rights Cannot Coexist," 15 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of fulfill

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

History and Etymology for fulfill

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

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Time Traveler for fulfill

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fulfill

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Fulfill.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fulfils. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for fulfill


How to pronounce fulfill (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fulfill

: 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


variants: or fulfil \ fu̇l-​ˈfil \
fulfilled; fulfilling

Kids Definition of fulfill

1 : to make real fulfill a dream
2 : satisfy sense 4 fulfill a requirement

Other Words from fulfill

fulfillment \ -​mənt \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on fulfill

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fulfill

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fulfill

Spanish Central: Translation of fulfill

Nglish: Translation of fulfill for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fulfill for Arabic Speakers

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