Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: fyllan; related to FULL1

fill

1 verb
     
fill1 S1 W1
1

become/make full

also fill up [intransitive and transitive] 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 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 dancehalls (=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]C 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

also fill in [transitive] 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

BBT 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 [= fit the bill British English]
We needed an experienced reporter and Willis fills the bill.
12

fill somebody's shoes

to do the work that someone else normally does, especially when this is difficult because they have set a high standard

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 somebody'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 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.
3DF

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

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