fill-in

[ fil-in ]
/ ˈfɪlˌɪn /

noun

a person or thing that fills in, as a substitute, replacement, or insertion: The company used a fill-in for workers on vacation.
a brief, informative summary; a rundown.

Origin of fill-in

First recorded in 1915–20; noun use of verb phrase fill in

Definition for fill in (2 of 2)

Origin of fill

before 900; Middle English fillen, Old English fyllan; cognate with German füllen, Gothic fulljan to make full; see full1

Related forms

fill·a·ble, adjectivehalf-filled, adjectiveun·filled, adjectivewell-filled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for fill in (1 of 2)

fill in

verb (adverb)


noun fill-in

a substitute
US informal a briefing to complete one's understanding

British Dictionary definitions for fill in (2 of 2)

fill

/ (fɪl) /

verb (mainly tr often foll by up)


noun

material such as gravel, stones, etc, used to bring an area of ground up to a required level
one's fill the quantity needed to satisfy oneto eat your fill

Word Origin for fill

Old English fyllan; related to Old Frisian fella, Old Norse fylla, Gothic fulljan, Old High German fullen; see full 1, fulfil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with fill in (1 of 2)

fill in

1

Complete something, especially by supplying more information or detail. For example, Be sure to fill in your salary history. It is also put as fill in the blanks, as in We'll rely on Mary to fill in the blanks. Yet another related usage is fill someone in, as in I couldn't attend, so will you fill me in? The first term dates from the mid-1800s; the others from the first half of the 1900s. Also see fill out.


2

Also, fill in for. Take someone's place, substitute for. For example, The understudy had to fill in at the last minute, or I can't come but my wife will fill in for me. Also see fill someone's shoes.

Idioms and Phrases with fill in (2 of 2)

fill

In addition to the idioms beginning with fill

  • filled to the brim
  • fill in
  • fill out
  • fill someone's shoes
  • fill the bill

also see:

  • back and fill
  • get one's fill of

Also see underfull.


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.