v. filled, fill·ing, fills
a. To put something into (a container, for example) to capacity or to a desired level: fill a glass with milk; filled the tub with water.
b. To supply or provide to the fullest extent: filled the mall with new stores.
c. To build up the level of (low-lying land) with material such as earth or gravel.
d. To stop or plug up (an opening, for example).
e. To repair a cavity of (a tooth).
f. To add a foreign substance to (cloth or wood, for example).
a. To flow or move into (a container or area), often to capacity: Water is filling the basement. Fans are filling the stadium.
b. To pervade: Music filled the room.
a. To satiate, as with food and drink: The guests filled themselves with pie.
b. To engage or occupy completely: a song that filled me with nostalgia.
a. To satisfy or meet; fulfill: fill the requirements. See Synonyms at satisfy.
b. To supply what is specified by or required for: fill a prescription; fill an order.
a. To put a person into (a job or position): We filled the job with a new hire.
b. To discharge the duties of; occupy: How long has she filled that post?
6. To cover the surface of (an inexpensive metal) with a layer of precious metal, such as gold.
a. To cause (a sail) to swell.
b. To adjust (a yard) so that wind will cause a sail to swell.
To become full: The basement is filling with water.
1. An amount needed to make full, complete, or satisfied: eat one's fill.
2. Material for filling a container, cavity, or passage.
a. A built-up piece of land; an embankment.
b. The material, such as earth or gravel, used for this.
1. To write information in (a blank space, as on a form).
2. To write in (information) in a blank space.
3. Informal To provide with information that is essential or newly acquired: I wasn't there—would you fill me in?
4. To act as a substitute; stand in: an understudy who filled in at the last minute.
1. To complete (a form, for example) by providing required information: carefully filled out the job application.
2. To become or make more fleshy: He filled out after age 35.
fill (someone's) shoes
To assume someone's position or duties.
fill the bill Informal
To serve a particular purpose.
[Middle English fillen, from Old English fyllan; see pelə-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.