Definition of fill in English:

fill

verb

  • 1[with object] Cause (a space or container) to become full or almost full:

    ‘I filled up the bottle with water’
    ‘the office was filled with reporters’
    • ‘The foam is fitted to fill the entire tank space and contains the liquid fuel and the vapour.’
    • ‘Billowing black smoke quickly filled the room, and the flames ignited the tapestries.’
    • ‘The unit was filled to capacity with patients, equipment, and staff members.’
    • ‘The Leisure Centre, which was hired out for free, was filled to the rafters with eager fans.’
    • ‘Then fill the container about two-thirds full of the soilless potting mix.’
    • ‘What if we fill a bag full of rocks that weigh the same as me?’
    • ‘When this pore space is completely filled with water, the soil is saturated.’
    • ‘Next, get some lava rocks like you use in gas grill, wash them thoroughly and fill the container at least half full with them.’
    • ‘Gray watched hopelessly as his wife filled the empty bowl full of water at the sink.’
    • ‘But it was a buffet regardless, so I filled my plate as full as possible.’
    • ‘She filled a mug full of water and then started to go back.’
    • ‘Spoon batter into muffin pan which has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray, filling each cup ¾ full.’
    • ‘The cups were not filled quite full so a little was left over for the cook's trouble.’
    • ‘We filled two bin liners full of broken glass, cans and bottles.’
    • ‘Once there, she filled a large suitcase full of her belongings, then made a call to her parents to say she was spending the week at a friend's.’
    • ‘He also spoke about the rewards of being a politician, highlighting the need for people to choose to make a difference in the world, rather than simply filling a space.’
    • ‘On a recent Tuesday, only five of the park's 45 tent spaces were filled.’
    • ‘Do not fill the bottles too full as this drink is very fizzy.’
    • ‘They filled a bag full of diamonds before leaving through an employee entrance.’
    • ‘Now you will need to fill the gas tank completely full.’
    become full, make full, fill up, fill to the brim, fill to overflowing, top up, charge, pack
    crowd, throng, jam, occupy all of, press into, squeeze into
    stock, pack, load
    block up, bung up, plug, seal, caulk, close, choke, obstruct, occlude, dam up
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Block up (a cavity in a tooth) with cement, amalgam, or gold.
      • ‘No one likes to do it, no one likes to spend the money or time, but filling a cavity is a whole lot cheaper than having a root canal.’
      • ‘In six European countries, dentists cannot legally fill teeth with silver amalgam (mercury).’
      • ‘For decades mercury has been in the amalgam used by dentists to fill holes caused by decay in teeth.’
      • ‘The compaction of amalgam into the cavity is not simply a matter of filling the hole.’
      • ‘When a tooth is decayed, the dentist usually repairs it by drilling out the rotten portion, and filling the gap.’
    2. 1.2[no object] Become full:
      ‘Elinor's eyes filled with tears’
      ‘the dining car filled up’
      • ‘Tina's eyes immediately filled up with tears.’
      • ‘The place was only a third full when we arrived, but as it filled, the slower and slower everything became.’
      • ‘She felt her eyes fill up with tears, but quickly wiped them away.’
      • ‘Claire's eyes quickly filled to the brim with tears, and her head fell to Blaine's hand.’
      • ‘I see a squirrel out of my window and my heart fills with joy.’
      • ‘All of her family watched as the church filled to the rim with well wishers.’
      • ‘I looked down at the floor, my eyes filling fast.’
      • ‘And, as the sound evened out, the dance floor filled and the wedding from the private dining room next door filtered in to continue its celebration.’
      • ‘This year's toast was a resounding success with a function at South Leagues Club filled to capacity.’
      • ‘Looking around frantically as the tub nearly filled to capacity, I grabbed a bar of Ivory soap.’
      • ‘That keeps the waiting room full, and until recently, the coffers filled.’
      • ‘But when the net filled so full with fish that they couldn't pull it into the boat, Peter realised that it was Jesus.’
    3. 1.3fill up[no object] Fill the fuel tank of a car.
      • ‘I returned my hire car to Genoa airport last Sunday and allowed plenty of time to fill up with fuel to avoid the penalty cost.’
      • ‘I entered the country and stopped at the first fuel station to fill up and buy a coffee.’
      • ‘Police were on duty at the Shell forecourt in York to prevent any private motorists trying to fill up.’
      • ‘Anyway, it's always a good idea to shop around for your fuel when you're filling up.’
      • ‘What happens if you drive the car out of state and fill up with high-sulfur fuel?’
      • ‘You just drive your car up to the service station and then fill up with hydrogen?’
      • ‘Just recently a relative of mine was relieved of her handbag while getting into her car after filling up at a local petrol station.’
      • ‘The AA advises customers to shop around for fuel and to avoid filling up at motorway service stations.’
      • ‘The bike sped away from the service station after filling up with £13.90 of petrol.’
      • ‘The cost of filling up with petrol has fuelled endless controversy.’
    4. 1.4 Become an overwhelming presence in; pervade:
      ‘a pungent smell of garlic filled the air’
      • ‘There was a mixed clientele, a wonderful smell filled the air and we were greeted with a smile.’
      • ‘The voice was chilling, the presence that filled Alisa's mind almost overwhelming.’
      • ‘His rough voice soon filled the air with knowledge of understanding and learning.’
      • ‘The strong smell of his presence filled her senses and she found herself babbling uncontrollably, unable so stop.’
      • ‘Silence filled the room and all became quiet.’
      • ‘Luxurious silks drape the walls, candles flicker and the smell of incense fills the air.’
      • ‘Samples including olives, cheeses, salami and freshly-cooked meals were available as the smell of delicious food filled the air.’
      • ‘Not once did his lone presence fail to fill the stage, nor did his tongue get twisted on one of his many insightful rhymes.’
      • ‘His rich but cold laugh filled the mess hall most of the time.’
      • ‘After that, an awkward silence once again filled the room, until finally Lia finally blurted it out.’
      • ‘A silence filled the room then, and they did not have to look to the door to know that Jasper was there and had heard what had been said.’
      • ‘Each shelf was filled with various books and magazines, the various bindings filling the room with a rainbow of different colors.’
      • ‘It was a long, empty morning in the silent office, filled only with the echoes of a taunting voice.’
      • ‘Without so much as a raised voice and despite hardly ever leaving her chair, Gina Clayton's skilled and confident presence fills the theatre.’
      • ‘The super-cute shop is always inviting, with the lovely smell of roses filling the air and rose petals scattered outside the entrance.’
      • ‘The smell of blueberry pie filled the air as they entered the kitchen.’
      • ‘Mom was making pizza almost from scratch and the smell filled the air.’
      • ‘Screams of nineteen other petrified people filled the air and pervaded my hearing.’
      • ‘The air was instantly filled with smoke and dust, and shards of debris rained down around them.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the place had filled up, and cheery voices filled the small room.’
      pervade, spread through, spread throughout, permeate, suffuse, be diffused through, diffuse through, imbue, penetrate, pass through, infuse, perfuse, extend throughout, be disseminated through, flow through, run through, saturate, impregnate
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5 Cause (someone) to experience a strong emotion or feeling:
      ‘his presence filled us with foreboding’
      • ‘And this experience is not going to fill the writer with positive emotions.’
      • ‘This experience does not fill me with confidence as to your abilities in the acquisition arena…’
      • ‘Newsy has a great name with the children and his presence filled them with excitement.’
      • ‘The kiss was passionate, it filled her with emotions she had forgotten but were buried beneath her.’
      • ‘On paper, he knew that the whole thing sounded horrible, but seeing her dancing in the crowd filled him with emotions he hadn't felt in so long.’
      • ‘She was lifted up to the presence of God, and her experiences filled her with joy and confidence.’
      • ‘The fade-to-black at the end fills you with emotion and happiness; which is what a good film and a good song should do.’
      • ‘Heroic actions like these fill us with deep emotion and pride in the altruistic possibilities of humanity.’
      • ‘The warmth from the light was stronger and filled him with more of the safe feeling.’
      • ‘But from my mom I also learned that I could be stronger and simply ignore that advice, advice that now fills me with fear and anger.’
      • ‘Yet, the gesture was filling him with an emotion totally different from the previous night, overpowering the anger and annoyance.’
      • ‘But the thought that his beautiful Elizabeth might be just up those stairs filled him with emotion.’
      • ‘Few games come along that fill a person with such a desire, 24/7, to play it.’
      • ‘The surprising warmth with which we were welcomed there, all those people offering food and drink at the roadside, still fills me with emotion.’
      • ‘Memories of her flood my mind, and fill me with utter emotion.’
      • ‘We may find that those mysteries thrill us with all of their elegant beauty, and fill us with gratitude for the chance to experience them.’
      • ‘But as she explains to Jan Goodwin, her childhood was blighted by polio - an experience that filled her with fighting spirit’
      • ‘My own Hampton experience not only filled me with a sense of hope and excitement, but also shaped my philosophy of education.’
      • ‘The experience filled him with a deeper knowledge about U.S. food policy.’
      • ‘After 45 years with the Society, the thought of retiring as president fills me with a swell of emotions.’
    6. 1.6[no object] (of a sail) curve out tautly from its supports as the wind blows into it.
      • ‘The breeze picked up, the rain stopped, and the boat's speed increased as the sails filled with wind.’
      • ‘Mark watched the other ship draw closer, sensing the increase in their own speed as the sails filled again and the oarsman got their rhythm.’
      • ‘For a while the ship kept bucking and sidling, the sails filling, now on one tack, now on another, till the mast groaned aloud under the strain.’
      • ‘The wind had risen, the ropes cracking and straining even louder as the sails filled to capacity.’
    7. 1.7 (of the wind) blow into (a sail), causing it to curve outwards.
      • ‘The day is perfect for it as it is very hot in the city, but there is a good breeze blowing over the lake, which will both keep us cool and fill the sail.’
      • ‘On its long Atlantic voyage, the armada made good progress with favourable winds filling the sails.’
      • ‘A tiny breeze pushed at her hair, but it wasn't strong enough to lift it and could not fill the sails.’
      • ‘Like a sailing barque stuck fast in the Doldrums, I lurch slowly in the swell, holding my breath and waiting for a wind to fill the sails.’
      • ‘Summer winds came and filled the sails of the boat, leading them to their next destination.’
      • ‘The wind fills the sails and we are taken back a thousand years, before that first king.’
      • ‘And the wind swirled about their craft, curved back around, and filled their sails.’
      • ‘As the breeze began to slacken boats took different tacks to fill their spinnakers, and Fever held on to first place for a well-deserved first win.’
      • ‘It was not enough to fill the sail, and it was raised soon after it was unfurled, and the heaving on the oars continued.’
      • ‘The wind filled it like a balloon, and the crew cheered.’
      • ‘It's likely to be a windy day across Thurles according to the forecast and that's precisely the kind of day that fills blue spinnakers.’
      • ‘The wind filled the sails and the ropes creaked and stretched with the strain as the ship ploughed through the waves.’
      • ‘The whisper of a breeze was not enough to fill the sails and the ship moved excruciatingly slowly.’
      • ‘But the only time you'll hear the skipper cry ‘all hands on deck’ is if there's nothing to fill the sails and they have to get the oars out.’
      • ‘By the time I got my main down they'd headed off in a circle because the wind filled their downed sail and it was like trying to catch an insane dolphin - but I did.’
  • 2Appoint a person to hold (a vacant post):

    ‘the board contacted him to say they had already filled the position’
    • ‘The appointment was to fill the chair left vacant by Schwarz's retirement.’
    • ‘In 1989, Humphreys was appointed to fill a vacant state Senate seat, to which he won election to a full term in 1990.’
    • ‘According to the student society bylaws, the forum may appoint students to fill these positions at its discretion.’
    • ‘Orders have also been issued to fill the vacant posts of assistant Urdu teachers for higher education.’
    • ‘With three new teams applying to join the league for next season there are still a further three vacancies to fill: full details can be obtained by contacting John Lynch.’
    • ‘When Steeple Langford was unable to fill the vacant post of headteacher, it was decided to approach other local schools with a view to federation.’
    • ‘Mr Greenway will also be calling for assurances that as and when the vacant posts are filled, operations at Malton can be resumed.’
    • ‘In 1913 Eddington was appointed to fill the vacant position of Plumian Professor of Astronomy.’
    • ‘In doing so, the president broke no law; he merely used a procedure that allows him to fill vacant positions when the Senate is in recess.’
    • ‘Seriously, imagine you're an employer looking to fill a position in your business.’
    • ‘He added that despite several requests, the state government was not filling the posts lying vacant in the corporation.’
    • ‘This position differed from that of the executive assistant since it was full time and filled via an outside search.’
    • ‘Nationally, the Government is struggling to fill vacant NHS nurse positions.’
    • ‘York Health Services Trust paid out more than £500,000 trying to fill vacant posts last year, more than twice the regional average.’
    • ‘Bach was appointed to fill the vacant seat created by Owens's resignation.’
    • ‘Employers in Waterford are seeking to fill jobs in the leisure and retail sectors more than any other area, it's been revealed.’
    • ‘And it is an attack on the lowest paid workers because they will have to do the extra work when vacant posts aren't filled.’
    • ‘The Education Department is on course to fill all vacant posts this year, the department spokesman said this week.’
    • ‘It decided against filling the vacant post and the position won't be reviewed until later in the year.’
    • ‘Borders Council is now having to offer ‘golden hellos’ of £3,000 in a bid to fill vacant posts.’
    1. 2.1 Hold and perform the expected duties of (a post or role):
      ‘he had filled the post in an acting capacity for some time’
      • ‘Now, Brad Stuart is expected to step up even more as he fills the role as the No.1 defender.’
      • ‘The former Celtic manager is said to be interested in filling a post left vacant following the sacking of Clark.’
      • ‘Tony Collins, brother of the groom filled the role of best man wonderfully and he was assisted by younger brother Ronan and Michael Durkan, friend of the groom.’
      • ‘Jon Parkin is likely to replace Smith in defence after filling that role for the reserves in yesterday's 0-0 draw against Notts County.’
      • ‘He emerged as the leader of Baltimore's offensive line last season and has been told he's expected to fill a similar role with a bunch of young players around him.’
      • ‘Kevin Lowery replaced Cicero in the second row, with Dave Christison and John Webster filling the vacant positions on the bench.’
      • ‘Alfonseca could close as a fallback plan, but he hasn't filled that role regularly since 2002.’
      • ‘Female leaders are often expected to fill the roles of mother, sister, girlfriend, and activist - and do their day job.’
      • ‘It follows the departure from frontline politics of several MSPs who were expected to fill important roles when elected in 1999.’
      • ‘Miller realized that although he was expected to help fill the defensive role that Blake played, he wasn't going to try to replace him.’
      • ‘Evans was not only in with the No. 1 offense, but he was still filling his customary role on special teams.’
      • ‘She did a great job, considering she didn't have a clue and wasn't expecting to be filling this role.’
      • ‘Another four recruits are expected to join over the next few weeks to fill analyst roles and investment positions.’
      • ‘And it's interesting that for the first time, the foreign leader who fills that role is not a European leader.’
      • ‘He will be filling the vacant post on the board created when Professor Parveen Kumar resigned earlier this year.’
      • ‘From an early age, Mick went to work in the bottling plant, where he filled many roles, eventually that of factory foreman.’
      • ‘At just 42 and filling the role many analysts now see as a grooming post for the top job, Watt may well be the next chief executive.’
      • ‘A mock prison situation was set up with one team functioning as guards and the other filling the role of prisoners.’
      • ‘Jon Parkin is set to play in defence and is expected to fill that role at Northampton on Saturday when Chris Smith and Darren Edmondson are both suspended.’
      • ‘The director of corporate development, Tom Smith, will fill the seat left vacant by Chen.’
      occupy, hold, take up, be in, have
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Satisfy or fulfil (a want or need):
      ‘community land trusts are a way to fill the pressing need for housing’
      • ‘‘They don't need anything other than a bit of tender loving care, respect and someone to fill their need to be valued,’ Richards said.’
      • ‘The 67-year-old Metis businessman has made a career of finding a niche, setting a goal and filling a need or want.’
      • ‘The latest Japanese craze fills the final need.’
      • ‘Earlier I found myself perusing my mobile, looking to see who I could call on to fill my need.’
      • ‘I don't think we need a new building because we've already got the former Odeon cinema which can fill the need.’
      • ‘Within a system of planning, production is conducted according to the government's orders, not according to the plans of capitalists eager to profit by best filling the wants of the consumers.’
      • ‘Being lonely and afraid allowed Robinson Crusoe to fill his desire for company by allowing God into his life through his nightly readings of the Bible.’
      • ‘He really was a general manager, not a coach, and for the past six years or so had turned to golf to fill his unceasing competitive desire.’
      • ‘If it is unlikely to make its founder a fortune, the venture at least fills a need among a certain group of professional women.’
      • ‘An effective system not only provides help under different circumstances, but fills different needs and is made up of different kinds of support.’
      • ‘Faith of course can can be a powerful force for good and is undoubtedly fills a spiritual need for billions in the world today.’
      • ‘Either would be an immediate upgrade, but neither player fills a pressing need.’
      • ‘The Redskins won't be shy about trading a midround pick, likely a third- or fourth-round selection, to fill a pressing need.’
      • ‘But now, as more people than ever line up at his agency's doorstep, Owens finds himself struggling to fill the need.’
      • ‘So shops that put their Christmas goods on display in September are certainly filling a need.’
      • ‘The cardinal rule of business is that if a product cannot fill a consumer need and make it on its own, then it doesn't belong in the market place.’
      • ‘Cassava is another staple food, often supplementing rice in filling the need for carbohydrate.’
      • ‘I made it because I needed it, and it's nice that it was able to fill a need for others as well.’
      • ‘Government will support the training and recruiting of mentors, yet it is the men and women of America who will fill the need.’
      • ‘Certainly, they possessed an extraordinarily intuitive skill for filling the needs of their times, and for realizing the potential of their own talents.’
      carry out, complete, fulfil, execute, perform, implement, discharge, bring about
      View synonyms
  • 3Occupy or take up (a period of time):

    ‘the next few days were filled with meetings’
    • ‘How's a girl supposed to fill two days of holiday without her internet?’
    • ‘So I began the task of filling my weekend with projects to keep myself busy - and out of trouble.’
    • ‘We have had a hectic time down here, we have barely stopped to take a breath, have filled every moment and have had a great time.’
    • ‘He fills his days rooting around for precious stones, which he then polishes into objects of inestimable beauty.’
    • ‘No worries, The Westmorland Gazette is here with loads of suggestions for you to fill those long summer days and nights.’
    • ‘Even when they'd moved into town, away from the property that he'd claimed would one day kill him, he found work to fill every spare moment.’
    • ‘This process can take quite a while so the asylum seekers try to fill their day with worthwhile training and education.’
    • ‘From the early seventies, the programmes started at 4.10, filling a ninety-minute period.’
    • ‘In fact, the entire flight back was filled with chatter regarding how we planned to fill our days before the long cruise.’
    • ‘Vacation classes, theatre workshops, personality courses, computer lessons, sports coaching sessions and so on fill their summer months.’
    • ‘Every day, every moment is filled with sensory experiences and cognitive reaction to that experience.’
    • ‘One surgeon, who said he is ‘well paid’, said he does not have enough patients to fill his working day.’
    • ‘Months of social functions, illness and injuries have filled the intervening period.’
    • ‘If it had been so minded, the Barbican could have filled a whole month of its schedules with a representative selection of what has been produced there just in the past decade.’
    • ‘Some people seem to have no work to do at work, but use the internet and a blogging as a way to fill the working day.’
    • ‘Alan McManus's defeat to Marco Fu has left the Scotsman pondering how to fill the summer months.’
    • ‘Because his kids head to bed long before he tiptoes in, Takashi fills his rare days off with their school concerts, hiking trips and Boy Scout meetings.’
    • ‘Jobs I had looked forward to all summer filled the long summer days.’
    • ‘Instead of summer on the beach Rachel fills her days shopping in Rochdale and Manchester, going out with friends and visiting the surrounding area on day trips.’
    • ‘I ask a friend how she filled her summer holidays in rural Ayrshire.’
  • 4North American Be supplied with the items described in (a prescription or order).

    • ‘He's not there to make moral judgments on how you live, but to fill your prescription.’
    • ‘But they've been unable to fill the orders, they just can't get the medications.’
    • ‘The basic job consists of maintaining the inventory of books and filling the orders from members as they come in.’
    • ‘Pharmacists fill prescriptions, they are not a customer's moral conscience.’
    • ‘A register of prescriptions filled by local pharmacies provided continuous data on use of cholesterol lowering drugs.’
    • ‘The process can be laborious, but it will ensure that you either fill your order at the very best price or avoid a poor trade altogether if the market fails to move your way.’
    • ‘There will be an even stronger focus on customer satisfaction that will allow for later order deadlines that will reduce time to fill orders.’
    • ‘Production, however, is in full swing at its Elwood plant, and the company said that it had been filling orders since mid-January.’
    • ‘The two states will first require customers to fill a prescription with a pharmacist before they can get and pay for refills at a vending machine inside drugstores.’
    • ‘The cost of prescription drugs in this country rising at such a staggering rate that nearly 40 percent of us can no longer afford to fill our prescriptions.’
    • ‘It will take about two hours to fill this prescription, ma'am, do you want to wait?’
    • ‘The lymph nodes under my left arm are swollen as well and I'm in this close to filling the prescription the doc gave me.’
    • ‘After months of struggling to get enough chips to fill orders, supply is improving.’
    • ‘Yet there was one salesman (let's call him Martin) who was filling orders as fast as greased lightning.’
    • ‘Workers, of course, even the lowly paid, will be slugged with an extra $6.20 to fill a prescription.’
    • ‘The system the company is producing and marketing will be leased to gallery owners for use at their locations to directly fill orders from customers.’
    • ‘And in Washington, a bill is being considered that would require pharmacists to fill all prescriptions.’
    • ‘During dinner downtime, chef David Levecchia greets customers at the bar before ducking into the kitchen to fill their orders.’
    • ‘If someone needs Plan B, you should be there to fill the prescription.’
    • ‘Within three months the Arnolds had sold $50,000 worth of knives, using just-in-time inventory to fill orders.’
  • 5(in poker) complete (a good hand) by drawing the necessary cards.

    • ‘The dealer fills everyone's hand back to 6, and play resumes as normal.’
    • ‘Replace any cards you popped with ones from your hand (face up) and then draw card to fill your hand to five.’
    • ‘Lee has 9-9 making top trips but he has to be wary of players staying with four-flushes and four-straights hoping to fill their hands.’

noun

  • 1one's fillAn amount of something which is as much as one wants or can bear:

    ‘we have eaten our fill’
    ‘I've had my fill of surprises for one day’
    • ‘But they had done that before, been there, tasted it and had their fill of it.’
    • ‘Two other friends go to the nuclear waste, have a grand old time, eat their fill, and then suddenly explode.’
    • ‘As you can see, the place will be rammed, so get there early for your fill of roots, dancehall and such.’
    • ‘Can't recommend this enough if you've had your fill of shallow popcorn movies.’
    • ‘For those who haven't had their fill of entertainment, it is worth noting that the next Bank Holiday weekend is only 25 days away.’
    • ‘As exciting as that is, it leaves fans here at home wondering when they'll be able to get their fill of the willowy musician.’
    • ‘Having had our fill of the Garden Route we're driving back west again.’
    • ‘As far as I'm concerned I've had my fill of Tim.’
    • ‘I suggested this to a friend who replied that she'd had her fill of watching the paint dry the first time around and didn't want to go through it again.’
    • ‘I hate to say it, but Milan can be a bit boring once you've had your fill of the Cathedral.’
    • ‘Rather than getting your fill of the excitement and sticking it to the back of your CD rack, you'll be coming back to this…’
    • ‘When Broome finally had his fill of comics and moved overseas to stay, Julie missed him terribly.’
    • ‘Well I've had my fill of fairness this afternoon.’
    • ‘Blair had eaten her fill of the good warm food from the kitchens, wonderful food.’
    • ‘If you still haven't had your fill of culture you can give your holiday an extra dimension by sailing across the Mediterranean - to Egypt.’
    • ‘And after 4 winters in New York, I've pretty much had my fill of snow.’
    • ‘I have just about had my fill of commentators who don't like their country, don't like the world, and don't much care for the human race.’
    • ‘Sometimes, when you've had your fill of something or someone, it's nice to have a bit of a break.’
    • ‘Once you have had your fill of plain smoked salmon with brown bread and butter, think about using it in cooking.’
    • ‘By the time I left I thought I had my fill of LA but since then every trip back has rekindled my love for the place.’
    enough, sufficient, plenty, ample, as much as necessary, all one wants, a sufficiency, an abundance, as much as one can take, more than enough
    View synonyms
  • 2An amount of something which will occupy all the space in a container:

    ‘a fill of tobacco’
    • ‘7.48 A.M. I drop my brother off at Newlands Cross and get a fill of petrol in the station there.’
    • ‘Just £15 will buy you a fill of Perfect Storm - a heady mix of compressed air, nitrous oxide and gaseous caffeine.’
    • ‘The vouchers can be used to buy clothes, tyres, a fill of oil, groceries, electrical goods - the list goes on and on.’
    1. 2.1[mass noun] Material, typically loose or compacted, which fills a space, especially in building or engineering work:
      ‘loose polystyrene fill’
      • ‘The fill also contained a large number of restorable vessels, with an unusually high incidence of Mycenaean imports.’
      • ‘Gravel, sand, small rock and wood chips are all types of loose fill.’
      • ‘It comes in lightweight easy-to-handle bags and should be used in the same manner as loose fill or cellulose.’
      • ‘This would have the advantage of compacting the existing shaft fill.’
      • ‘In addition, the DOT has not explained the seismic risk to a tunnel built in loose fill versus a new elevated structure.’
      • ‘They added fill by the house to make a fairly level garden up top, and then nudged and added stone to build retaining walls and steps.’
      • ‘The fill was compacted in layers of 25 cm using a vibratory compactor of 2 tons capacity.’
      • ‘Quaternary sedimentary fill testifies to recent subsidence of the basin.’
      • ‘Postholes disturbed the burial pit, but their fill did not contain sherds or bones.’
      • ‘On the east side of the building, a double retaining wall supports leveling fill between the wall and bedrock.’
      • ‘‘We have looked at it in the last week or so and I am aware of some minor movement in the fill of the crater,’ he said.’
      • ‘Another method is to pour or blow in loose fill or cellulose insulation up to the joists for an even surface.’
      • ‘Most of the sedimentary fill of the Chiang Mai basin lies beneath a blanket of Quaternary floodplain deposits.’
      • ‘Hundreds of thousands of hectares and over 700 km of streams have been covered by this 'valley fill'.’
      • ‘Suitable material was used as required for building highway fill.’
      • ‘The limestone grades laterally into calcareous siltstone of the canyon fill.’
      • ‘The project would require approximately 1 square mile of fill and tons of dredging.’
      • ‘Where intersected by wells, the canyon fill is seen to comprise two distinctive units.’
      • ‘But loose fill, like sand, usually washes out before plants can root.’
      • ‘Some spots required engineered fill to depths of up to 3 m, but for the most part the site was composed of silty clay and fragmented rock.’
    2. 2.2[mass noun] The action of filling something, especially of shading in a region of a computer graphics display.
      • ‘Gradient fill options and controls are significantly enhanced in Freehand MX.’
      • ‘The MX shows definite signs of fill rate limitations reaching it, with only two spikes reaching over 65 fps.’
      • ‘In many cases, its playable image quality surpassed the GeForce 6800 Ultra thanks to its superior fill rate and memory bandwidth.’
      • ‘Non-visible pixels are not shaded leading to 2-3x fill rate compared to other solutions at the same bandwidth.’
      • ‘With two rendering pipelines and a core clock speed of 300MHz, this chip has a greater raw fill rate potential than the other two.’
      • ‘Not only does it have fill rate tests, but it also has occlusion culling, shading, dynamic lighting, volumetric fog, and more.’
      • ‘The fill rate test is mostly dependent on the video card.’
      • ‘If the blocksize gets too large, search times slow down, so bottom fill is how it is kept balanced.’
      • ‘Here we finally see a bit of fill rate limitation kicking in for the FX5900 Ultra.’
      • ‘Cache miss buffer adapted to satisfy read requests to portions of a cache fill in progress without waiting for the cache fill to complete.’
      • ‘Remember, the gradient fill affects the transparency of the upper layer.’
      • ‘So my memory bandwidth would be greater, but my fill rate wouldn't be.’
      • ‘In looking at fill rate performance, we're looking at two things: pixel fill rate, and texture fill rate.’
      • ‘The fill rate on each chip (the number of pixels that can be drawn on the screen in a second) is a very impressive 333 megapixels.’
      • ‘For example, the paintbucket and gradient fill tools now share a spot.’
      • ‘This more than doubles the total potential pixel fill rate from 533 million pixels per second to about 1.3 gigapixels per second.’
      • ‘It is important to note that memory bandwidth is what holds back today's graphics cards rather than core speed / fill rate.’
      • ‘Depot response played a significant role in offsetting initial deficiencies in the fill rate.’
      • ‘Their fill rate for orders is something like 99.5 %.’
      • ‘It has an eight-pixel pipeline, as does the S8, capable of a 2.4 billion pixels per second fill rate.’
    3. 2.3 (in popular music) a short interjected phrase on a particular instrument.
      • ‘There are no breaks, no fills, little syncopation, and the beats rarely drop out.’
      • ‘By the album's last few tracks, the fills outweigh the backbeats to the point where he's pushing fusion jazz territory.’
      • ‘The acoustic guitar, rather than the drums, provides the rhythmic fills.’
      • ‘This is where Black looks for the most powerful emotions on Blonde on Blonde, and he says that those fills can have him close to tears.’
      • ‘The drum machine backing does little to help - apparently Blaize has not mastered anything outside kicks and snares, let alone drum fills.’
      • ‘This larger-than-life sound is portrayed both vocally and by use of the padded layers of lo-fi treated guitars and keyboard fills.’
      • ‘Drummer Simon Wright, who has also batted the skins for AC / DC, added tasteful fills where necessary but kept true to the beat.’
      • ‘Guitars crunch, drums play fills that would make Terry Bozio proud, and if muscle is your mode, it may work.’
      • ‘But then Stanier enters with an impossibly huge drum fill, splintering the subdued mood and booting the song awake.’
      • ‘The country-twanged guitar solo and glaring organ fills are both jolting and highlight Rademaker's forceful voice.’
      • ‘After a harplike flourish and a drum fill, gliding magical strings and a subdued 16 th-note hi-hat rhythm appear.’
      • ‘He has a very good range, from dynamic accents to the most subtle, tossed-off fill.’
      • ‘They wait until the final moment to exhale and even longer to inhale, allowing silence to spill into the silent gaps between notes, beats, and guitar fills.’
      • ‘As the drummer spits out a cacophony of quick-wristed rhythms and slashing fills, the music rages on to a cathartic finale.’
      • ‘Devin O'Campo's drums and bass add just the right fills.’
      • ‘Req doesn't spend time drawing complicated drum-and-bass fills into a sequencer.’
      • ‘Erin Tate is an active drummer, frequently adding firm tom and snare fills.’
      • ‘There are no flashy fills - instead, he's content to add subtle color with variations in volume and pace.’
      • ‘The drums are applied for atmosphere, creating a background packed with tinkling cymbals and drum fills.’
      • ‘The drum tracks - the fills in particular - are so distracting that the brief seconds when they stop provide a welcome relief.’

Phrases

  • fill the bill

  • fill one's boots

    • informal Have as much of something as one wants; do something to the full:

      ‘fill your boots with spicy Szechuan food for under five bucks a plate’
      • ‘While nearly 20 minutes of the second half passed without a Carlow score, Limerick filled their boots in the meantime and considered the journey home.’
      • ‘If you can find a high-yielding share where the company is also profitably riding a high-growth market, it's time to re-mortgage the house and fill your boots.’
      • ‘Wall-to-wall football might be hard for the weary professional players but the football fan can fill his boots.’
      • ‘So if it happens again, don't delay your purchase wondering if your order will be honoured - fill your boots.’
      • ‘And from that moment it has filled its boots with business.’
  • fill someone's shoes (or boots)

    • informal Take over someone's function or duties and fulfil them satisfactorily.

      • ‘I decided to move on, and I'm sure there are plenty of good, young guys capable of filling my shoes.’
      • ‘No matter how meticulous the police operations to remove dealers from the streets, a new wave will fill their shoes within weeks.’
      • ‘He would not be happy at Winston Peters filling his shoes.’
      • ‘It's because we've worn ourselves out trying to fill their shoes on the one hand, and on the other hand, we've grown too fat to even entertain any kind of dancing.’
      • ‘Perhaps the reason the 65% were adamant they will keep up levels of production is their hope that a daughter or son will fill their shoes when they retire.’
      • ‘Anyone can become a pop idol these days, but the number of genuine legends is shrinking and it is debatable who can fill their shoes.’
      • ‘Laura, literally, fills Kim's shoes for two days with the help of a ‘fat suit’ and makeup.’
      • ‘There are a couple kids who can fill their shoes.’
      • ‘When I thought I would be filling his shoes, I just thought I would take over his band at some point, because I was assistant bandleader.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, anyone filling your shoes will find it a hard act to follow.’
      substitute, deputize, stand in, cover, provide cover, take over, act, act as deputy, act as stand-in, sit in, act as understudy, understudy, be a proxy, act as locum tenens
      View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • fill in

    • Act as a substitute for someone when they are unable to do their job:

      ‘my producer will have to have someone standing by to fill in for me’
      • ‘Redd filled in admirably for the injured Ray Allen, posting 21 points.’
      • ‘As Cross's beautiful assistant, Monica Potter fills in for Ashley Judd, who didn't return from the first one.’
      • ‘I found someone to fill in for Ellen, and she's doing a great job!’
      • ‘He filled in as a vocalist on a few of their earlier albums, but they've got a new guy for this one.’
      • ‘Marky Ramone fills in on drums and former Black Flag member Dez Cadena slings guitar.’
      • ‘In the absence of first-hand testimony, conjecture fills in.’
      • ‘With Brooks absent because of a knock, the little-used Frost filled in at left-back.’
      • ‘He even filled in as a coach for his son's soccer team in West Virginia two summers ago.’
      • ‘We note that neither is the Prime Minister present, and nor is the Deputy Prime Minister, who normally fills in for her.’
      • ‘Some of the members are also part of other groups, sometimes even filling in as extras in the Cleveland Orchestra.’
      substitute, deputize, stand in, cover, provide cover, take over, act, act as deputy, act as stand-in, sit in, act as understudy, understudy, be a proxy, act as locum tenens
      take the place of
      sub, fill someone's boots, fill someone's shoes, step into someone's boots, step into someone's shoes
      pinch-hit
      View synonyms
  • fill someone in

    • 1Inform someone more fully of a matter:

      ‘they filled me in on all the latest news from Cambridge’
      • ‘Josh filled Jason in on what he missed and Jason in exchange informed him of what happened with him.’
      • ‘Can anyone fill me in on these important matters.’
      • ‘When Steve fully awoke, Shield filled him in on the details.’
      • ‘Seriously, somebody fill me in here.’
      • ‘Nora invited Amanda to the sitting room for tea, and filled her in on how the commune worked, and that no profits were made, but everything was paid for.’
      • ‘The biographer of one of our biggest stars fills us in on a big star who lived large and died broke.’
      • ‘I have the slightest clue what he is talking about, can you fill me in?’
      • ‘He filled me in with some interesting pieces of information I hadn't been aware of.’
      • ‘Andy has been a great help around the area filling us in with a lot of information about Ireland as well as the area.’
      • ‘Even though dispatch fills you in on the situation as they know it, they are often wrong, because the person who called the problem in doesn't know what they are talking about.’
      inform of, advise of, tell about, notify of, acquaint with, apprise of, brief on, enlighten about, update with, bring up to date about, make conversant with, report to about
      put wise about, put in the picture about, clue in about, bring up to speed on, tip off about
      View synonyms
    • 2Hit or punch someone:

      ‘I filled in a chap and took his money’
      • ‘I filled in a chap and took his money.’
  • fill something in

    • 1Add information to complete a form or other official document:

      ‘simply fill in the application form and return it to your local branch’
      • ‘I urge all recipients of this bogus waste of paper to return them, without filling them in, to Mr Deasy so that at least he, and not us, has to pay for their disposal.’
      • ‘This is very convenient as forms can be filled in by dragging the information and of course the password feature will auto fill.’
      • ‘He denied all the allegations, insisting that he had simply been asked to check a visa application form to see it was filled in correctly.’
      • ‘So the forms are filled in and sitting waiting to be posted.’
      • ‘Now all I need to do is dig out L & G's health questionnaire and application form from my paper mountain and fill them in…’
      • ‘Send off for the applications and fill them in.’
      • ‘So all you have to do is download this word document and fill it in and send it off.’
      • ‘Don't forget to fill in your electoral registration forms as if they are not filled in before December then you may not be able to vote at the next elections, which may come about next year.’
      • ‘Mrs O'Connor has now been told that she will have to return to Canada with the right forms, fill them in and then wait for her application to be processed which could take between two to three months before she can return to Britain.’
      • ‘But the project hit the headlines over allegations about the way applications for funds had been filled in before Mr Pierges took over.’
      complete, answer, fill up
      fill out
      View synonyms
    • 2Complete a drawing by adding colour or shade to the spaces within an outline:

      ‘incised letters, filled in with gold’
      • ‘A few sections of the diagram are filled in with colour to create a shape that seems like a comet or some fantastic flying creature.’
      • ‘The artists had drawn the figures beforehand, and then filled them in like a paint-by-numbers picture, color by color.’
      • ‘The island, water, ships and rigging are all filled in with warm shades of watercolor.’
    • 3Occupy one's spare time, typically while waiting for something else to happen:

      ‘with all the shops to keep you occupied, you'll have no problem filling in a couple of hours’
      • ‘Crump won't be looking to fill the void in his schedule, but will use the extra spare time for rest and to enjoy family life - on which he puts a high premium.’
  • fill out

    • (of a person) put on weight to a noticeable extent.

      • ‘In the course of time Cora has filled out and is now one of the strongest players in the game.’
      • ‘She has filled out, although she hasn't grown.’
      • ‘If your body fills out really quickly, sometimes your skin can't renew itself fast enough to keep up.’
      • ‘Rugby players, after they have filled out to their hop-assisted unnatural weight, don't go to games.’
      • ‘But I really feel that when he fills out he's going to be a force to be reckoned with.’
      • ‘When Jack grows a bit more, fills out and becomes older, he could be an excellent prospect for the world of snooker.’
      • ‘That's seven pounds north of their last clash at welterweight, and oddsmakers figure the taller De La Hoya fills out better, and will be the bigger man.’
      • ‘He's getting his color back, filling out a little.’
      • ‘It is a simple repetitive action that should stand up well under pressure, and I can only see it getting better as he matures and fills out a bit.’
      • ‘Viewers were also curious to see how these kids would handle growing up, filling out, and breaking out.’
      grow fatter, become plumper, become rounder, flesh out, put on weight, gain weight, get heavier
      View synonyms
  • fill something out

    • 1Add information to complete an official form or document.

      • ‘Once we filled it out and sent it in, we were officially a private school.’
      • ‘Thus every New Hampshire voter fills out a paper ballot.’
      • ‘I have an accountant who fills out my tax return.’
      • ‘After the movie I was walking through the diner and noticed a women filling out some kind of report.’
      • ‘The Garda then fills out a form for the Garda liaison officer who in turn provides the victim support co-ordinator with the information, which remains confidential.’
      • ‘A few seconds later she sits down and fills out a report on him.’
      • ‘Otherwise, anyone wanting to talk fills out a form at the nearby Kreta Ayer Police Post (their names stay on file for five years) and shows proof of citizenship.’
      • ‘Anyone who comes in and fills out a questionnaire will get a free video rental from Video Solutions.’
      • ‘The chosen one fills out a form about themselves.’
      • ‘Each patient fills out a menu card to order their meals.’
      complete, answer, fill up
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Give more details about something:
        ‘further research will fill out these early findings’
        • ‘Although the bulk of the character was already in place on the page, he filled it out with some detail of his own.’
        • ‘I''m going to write in generalities and then I'll fill out the rest of the story.’
        • ‘I'd like to try and fill out what he was getting at.’
        • ‘Many geological expeditions have explored the Antarctic Peninsula and their discoveries have filled out many of the missing gaps in the fossil record of the continent.’
        • ‘And there are several bits that would have filled the piece out: Side-effects from Plan B are less than in previous morning-after pills.’
        • ‘We have spoken to another man whose account fills out what Stewart says he saw.’
        • ‘This meticulously researched book fills out his life and its achievements.’
        • ‘Portman fills out the character with a distinct kind of ecstatic fire.’
        • ‘Stechow's survey has been refined and filled out in considerable detail.’
        • ‘Though the term was borrowed from the science of immunology, its new meaning was filled out with ideas derived from influential contemporary trends, notably environmentalism, alternative health and New Age mysticism.’
        expand, enlarge, add to, round out, elaborate, add detail to, add substance to, flesh out, add flesh to, put flesh on the bones of
        View synonyms

Origin

Old English fyllan (verb), fyllu (noun) of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vullen and German füllen (verbs), Fülle (noun), also to full.

Pronunciation:

fill

/fɪl/