Definition of backfill in English:



  • Refill (an excavated hole) with the material dug out of it.

    ‘they backfill the hole to street level’
    [no object] ‘you'll need to backfill with excavated material’
    • ‘If a retaining wall is designed as a gravity wall, it can be backfilled relatively early.’
    • ‘Finally we backfilled the hole and went to the house to clean up.’
    • ‘Two 42-inch diameter pipes were installed in shaft No. 1 and the shaft was backfilled around the pipes with concrete.’
    • ‘The time is rapidly approaching when we will be ready to line the hole with polythene before backfilling and tidying the area prior to planting.’
    • ‘Walls are usually braced a few days after forms have been stripped and before backfilling operations begin.’
    • ‘Once the excavation is complete, the trackway will be backfilled with earth again, as this is the best way to preserve the timbers.’
    • ‘The excavated ground is used for backfilling a low area at the end of the runway for the purpose of lengthening it.’
    • ‘This multipurpose tool can be used for more than backfilling a trench or grading a job site.’
    • ‘Cracks can also result from backfilling foundations before they have sufficient strength to resist the forces generated by the backfill.’
    • ‘His bucket-equipped compact track loader makes money backfilling basements, cutting out driveways and sidewalks, and performing final landscape grading.’
    • ‘The excavated soil should be mixed with well-rotted organic matter or a tree-planting compost before backfilling the hole.’
    • ‘To prevent movement of the box, the space between it and the wall of the excavation should be backfilled.’
    • ‘The steps were first excavated by local farmers in 1946, but were quickly backfilled for fear that sheep would fall down the hole.’
    • ‘There is a possibility that the holes were backfilled.’
    • ‘The contractor digs a small hole down about 18 ft., places a 12-in.-diameter slotted pipe in the hole, and backfills it with 0.75-in. washed rock.’
    • ‘Atkinson backfilled his tunnel with excavation spoil bulked by imported material.’
    • ‘If soil excavation is used for remediation, a pond or topographic feature that will become an eye-pleasing part of the course can be created instead of backfilling the excavation.’
    • ‘Mine plans called for the hole to be backfilled - they were going to fill it with waste rock mixed with cement, making the vein just as accessible as it had been.’
    • ‘They are building the box drains higher than the lots, and they are not backfilling the area.’
    • ‘She backfilled the planting hole with soil and replanted her clump of irises, which bloomed beautifully the following season.’


  • [mass noun] Material used for backfilling.

    ‘archaeologists are attempting to understand the origin of the backfill found there’
    • ‘It also requires adequate, trash-free backfill and sufficient soil moisture for compaction, as well as site conditions enabling a trencher to maneuver.’
    • ‘Compaction of backfill materials is normally carried out by mechanical means, to achieve a specified percentage of compactivity.’
    • ‘The porcelain will be recycled as part of the district's soil recycling operation which produces granular material for trench backfill and road base.’
    • ‘It also implies, but does not explicitly require, important installation details, such as complete backfilling of the trench and thorough compaction of backfill.’
    • ‘The use of tire shreds as backfill has benefits ranging from the inherent lightweight of the material to increase in permeability.’
    • ‘Thus, under winter conditions, a culvert must be stabilized on both ends using rocks or other techniques and must be covered with appropriate backfill to provide adequate bearing capacity.’
    • ‘One of his first jobs was to ensure that the original backfill material from tank 3 was removed.’
    • ‘This preliminary surcharge is equivalent to an average of 8.0 m (an increase of 2.0 m over the design stage) of backfill east of the quay wall.’
    • ‘One approach is to place loose backfill under structurally supported slabs.’
    • ‘A 6-inch-thick sidewalk was then poured atop this backfill, overlapping the floor edges by 6 inches.’
    • ‘The crusher broke the concrete into pieces of a size that could be put back into the ground as backfill for the new construction.’
    • ‘Two versions of this compaction tool are available: a smooth drum for sand, gravel, pea rock, and asphalt patching and a padded drum for heavy soils, clay, and clay-based backfill.’
    • ‘The backfill is of the same sediment as around the gallery and the proboscis cut is straight.’
    • ‘That's enough to locate buried foundations, pipes, and cables and determine the thickness and location of backfill.’
    • ‘Before that, fluorite encountered in mining was considered waste and used as backfill or dumped.’
    • ‘They reopened the mine, hoping to find fluorite that had been left behind - either in place or as backfill by previous lead-mining operations.’
    • ‘Reinforced soil slopes also embed geotextiles between backfill layers but are characterized by having slopes of less than 70.’
    • ‘In the near field above the container the borehole will be very effectively sealed by melting, recrystallization and metamorphism of the host rock backfill.’
    • ‘In that case, plan on waiting seven days before placing the full depth of backfill.’
    • ‘Cover the piping with resin paper or strips of 90-pound roofing felt on top of the sand backfill.’