• Fill


    • enPR: fĭl, IPA: /fɪl/ or IPA: /fɪɫ/ - Isn't that allophonic?
    • Rhymes: -ɪl
    • Homophones: Phil

    Origin 1

    From Middle English fillen, fullen, from Old English fyllan ("to fill, fill up, replenish, satisfy; complete, fulfill"), from Proto-Germanic *fullijaną ("to make full, fill"), from *fullaz ("full"), from Proto-Indo-European *pl̥h₁nós ("full"). Cognate with Scots fill ("to fill"), West Frisian folje ("to fill"), Dutch vullen ("to fill"), Low German fullen ("to fill"), German füllen ("to fill"), Danish fylde ("to fill"), Swedish fylla ("to fill"), Norwegian fylle ("to fill"), Icelandic fylla ("to fill").

    Full definition of fill


    1. (transitive) To occupy fully, to take up all of.
      • circa 1761 Tobias Smollett, translator, Don Quixote, part 2, book 5, chapter 4:...the drums began to thunder, the sound of trumpets filled the air, the earth trembled beneath their feet, and the hearts of the gazing multitude throbbed with suspense and expectation...
      • circa 1860 Charles Dickens, , chapter 38:And now that I have given the one chapter to the theme that so filled my heart, and so often made it ache and ache again, I pass on, unhindered, to the event that had impended over me longer yet....
    2. (transitive) To add contents to (a container, cavity, or the like) so that it is full.
    3. To enter (something), making it full.
    4. (intransitive) To become full.
      the bucket filled with rain;  the sails fill with wind
    5. (intransitive) To become pervaded with something.
      My heart filled with joy.
    6. (transitive) To satisfy or obey (an order, request, or requirement).
      The pharmacist filled my prescription for penicillin.
      We can't let the library close! It fills a great need in the community.
    7. (transitive) To install someone, or be installed, in (a position or office), eliminating a vacancy.
      • 1866, Bedford Clapperton Trevelyan Pim, The Negro, pages 18–19 http://google.com/books?id=E0N-AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA19&dq=filled:It is impossible to resist the conclusion, which experience and history tend to prove, that, the continuous movement of such a vast body of mankind has been influenced by natural laws, that, the negro has filled the position for which he is fitted by nature, and, that, his services were brought into use when the emergency arose necessitating his employment.
      • 1891 January 23, Allen Morse, opinion, Lawrence v. Hanley, reprinted in volume 47, Northwestern Reporter, page 753, at 755:The board of supervisors called a specal election to fill the office, and at such special election Henry C. Andrews was elected judge of probate to fill out the said term.
    8. Sorry, no more applicants. The position has been filled.
    9. (transitive) To treat (a tooth) by adding a dental filling to it.
      • a. 1891 "Intimate Diagnosis of Diseased Teeth", in Items of Interest: A Monthly Magazine of Dental Art, Science and Literature, volume 13, number 11, November 1891, page 657 http://google.com/books?id=eS21AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA657&dq=%22filled+the+molar%22:Be that as it may, had the disturbance continued after our having filled the molar, and presuming that nothing had been done to the bicuspid, we might have been still as far as ever from knowing where the trouble lay.
    10. (transitive) To fill or supply fully with food; to feed; to satisfy.
      • Bible, Matthew xv. 33Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fillso great a multitude?
      • Francis BaconThings that are sweet and fat are more filling.
    11. (transitive, nautical) To trim (a yard) so that the wind blows on the after side of the sails.


    • (occupy fully, take up all of) pervade


    • (add contents to a container or cavity) empty
    • (to become full) empty

    Related terms

    Origin 2

    Old English fyllu, from Proto-Germanic *fullį̄. Cognate with German Fülle.



    (plural fills)
    1. (after a possessive) A sufficient or more than sufficient amount.Don't feed him any more: he's had his fill.
    2. An amount that fills a container.''The mixer returned to the plant for another fill.
    3. The filling of a container or area.That machine can do 20 fills a minute.This paint program supports lines, circles, and textured fills.
    4. Inexpensive material used to occupy empty spaces, especially in construction.The ruins of earlier buildings were used as fill for more recent construction.
    5. (archaeology) Soil and/or human-created debris discovered within a cavity and exposed by excavation; fill soil.

    Derived terms

    terms derived from fill (noun)

    Origin 3

    See thill.



    (plural fills)
    1. One of the thills or shafts of a carriage.----
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