Meaning of FILL in English


I. fill 1 S1 W1 /fɪl/ BrE AmE verb

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ fill , ↑ refill , ↑ filling , ↑ filler ; verb : ↑ fill , ↑ refill ; adjective : ↑ filling ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: fyllan ; related to ⇨ ↑ full 1 ]

1 . BECOME/MAKE FULL [intransitive and transitive] ( also fill up ) if a container or place fills, or if you fill it, enough of something goes into it to make it full:

He poured her a drink, then filled his own glass.

My job was filling the flour sacks.

Take a deep breath and allow your lungs to fill.

fill (something) with something

Her eyes filled with tears.

fill something to the brim/to overflowing (=fill something completely)

a bucket filled to the brim with ice

There was just enough wind to fill the sails.

Miller’s band was filling dance halls (=attracting a lot of people) all over the country.

2 . LARGE THING/NUMBER [transitive] if a thing or group fills something, there is no space left:

Crowds of well-wishers filled the streets.

His wartime experiences would fill a book!

All the seats were filled and a number of people were standing.

Numerous pictures fill every available space.

3 . SOUND/SMELL/LIGHT [transitive] if a sound, smell, or light fills a place, you notice it because it is very loud or strong:

The smell of freshly baked bread filled the room.

be filled with something

The air was filled with the sound of children’s laughter.

4 . EMOTIONS [transitive] if you are filled with an emotion, or if it fills you, you feel it very strongly

be filled with admiration/joy/happiness etc

I was filled with admiration for her.

be filled with horror/fear/anger/doubt/remorse

Their faces were suddenly filled with fear.

fill somebody with something

The prospect filled him with horror.

5 . PROVIDE SOMETHING [transitive] to provide something that is needed or wanted but which has not been available or present before

fill a need/demand

Volunteers fill a real need for teachers in the Somali Republic.

fill a gap/hole/niche etc

I spent most of the summer filling the gaps in my education.

The company has moved quickly to fill the niche in the overnight travel market.

6 . SPEND TIME [transitive] if you fill a period of time with a particular activity, you spend that time doing it

fill your time/the days etc (with something)

I have no trouble filling my time.

7 . PERFORM A JOB [transitive] to perform a particular job, activity, or purpose in an organization, or to find someone or something to do this

fill a post/position/vacancy etc

Women fill 35% of senior management positions.

Thank you for your letter. Unfortunately, the vacancy has already been filled.

The UK should find another weapon to fill the same role.

8 . CRACK/HOLE [transitive] ( also fill in ) to put a substance into a hole, crack etc to make a surface level:

Fill in any cracks before starting to paint.

materials developed to fill tooth cavities

9 . fill yourself (up)/fill your face informal to eat so much food that you cannot eat any more

10 . fill an order to supply the goods that a customer has ordered:

The company is struggling to fill $11 million in back orders.

11 . fill the bill American English to have exactly the right qualities SYN fit the bill British English :

We needed an experienced reporter and Willis fills the bill.

12 . fill sb’s shoes to do the work that someone else normally does, especially when this is difficult because they have set a high standard

• • •


▪ fill to put enough of something into a container to make it full:

Jenny filled the kettle and put it on to boil.


Party balloons can be filled with helium.

▪ fill up to fill something completely – used especially about putting petrol in the tank of a car:

I need to fill up the car.


The waiter filled up everyone’s glasses.


If the oil tank is less than half full, tell them to fill it up.

▪ load/load up to fill a vehicle with goods, furniture etc:

Two men were loading a truck with boxes of melons.

▪ stuff/cram to quickly fill something such as a bag or pocket by pushing things into it tightly:

She hurriedly stuffed some things into an overnight bag and left.

▪ refill to fill a container again, after what was in it has been used:

I’m just going to refill this bottle from the tap.

▪ top up British English , top off American English to fill a glass or cup that still has some liquid in it:

Can I top up your glass of wine?

▪ replenish formal to make something full again, especially with a supply of something such as water or food:

The lake is fed by springs that are eternally replenished by the rain.

fill in phrasal verb

1 . DOCUMENT fill something ↔ in to write all the necessary information on an official document, form etc:

Don’t forget to fill in your boarding cards.

2 . TELL SOMEBODY NEWS fill somebody ↔ in to tell someone about recent events, especially because they have been away from a place

fill somebody ↔ in on

I think you’d better fill me in on what’s been happening.

3 . CRACK/HOLE fill something ↔ in to put a substance into a hole, crack etc so it is completely full and level

4 . fill in time to spend time doing something unimportant because you are waiting for something to happen:

She flipped through a magazine to fill in the time.

5 . SPACE fill something ↔ in to paint or draw over the space inside a shape

6 . DO SB’S JOB to do someone’s job because they are not there

fill in for

I’m filling in for Joe for a few days.

fill out phrasal verb

1 . fill something ↔ out to write all the necessary information on an official document, form etc

2 . if you fill out, or your body fills out, you become slightly fatter:

Eric has filled out around the waist.

3 . if a young person fills out, their body becomes more like an adult’s body, for example by having bigger muscles, developing breasts etc:

At puberty, a girl’s body begins to fill out.

4 . fill something ↔ out to add more details to a description or story

fill up phrasal verb

1 . if a container or place fills up, or if you fill it up, it becomes full

fill up with

Her eyes filled up with tears.

fill something ↔ up

Shall I fill the car up (=with petrol) ?

2 . fill (yourself) up informal to eat so much food that you cannot eat any more

fill (yourself) up with/on

Don’t fill yourself up with cookies.

He filled up on pecan pie.

3 . fill somebody up informal food that fills you up makes you feel as though you have eaten a lot when you have only eaten a small amount

II. fill 2 BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ fill , ↑ refill , ↑ filling , ↑ filler ; verb : ↑ fill , ↑ refill ; adjective : ↑ filling ]

1 . have had your fill of something informal to have done something or experienced something, especially something unpleasant, so that you do not want any more:

I’ve had my fill of screaming kids for one day.

2 . eat/drink your fill old-fashioned to eat or drink as much as you want or need

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.