verb (used with object)
- to distend (a sail) by pressure of the wind so as to impart headway to a vessel.
- to brace (a yard) so that the sail will catch the wind on its after side.
verb (used without object)
- to fall off the wind and proceed on a board.
- to brace the yards, so that sails that have been aback will stand full.
- to supply missing or desired information: Fill in the facts of your business experience.
- to complete by adding detail, as a design or drawing: to fill in a sketch with shadow.
- to substitute for: to fill in for a colleague who is ill.
- to fill with some material: to fill in a crack with putty.
- Informal.to supply (someone) with information: Please fill me in on the morning news.
- to complete (a document, list, etc.) by supplying missing or desired information.
- to become larger, fuller, or rounder, as the figure: The children have begun to fill out since I saw them last.
- to fill completely: to fill up a glass; to fill up a fuel tank.
- to become completely filled: The riverbed filled up as a result of the steady rains.
Origin of fill
Synonyms for fill
verb (mainly tr often foll by up)
Word Origin for fill
"a full supply," mid-13c., fille, from Old English fylle, from Proto-Germanic *fullin- (cf. Old High German fulli, German Fülle, Old Norse fyllr), noun of state from *fullaz "full" (see full (adj.)). Meaning "extra material in music" is from 1934.
Old English fyllan "fill up, replenish, satisfy," from Proto-Germanic *fullijan (cf. Old Saxon fulljan, Old Norse fylla, Old Frisian fella, Dutch vullen, German füllen "to fill"), a derivative of adj. *fullaz "full" (see full (adj.)). Related: Filled.
To fill the bill (1882) originally was U.S. theatrical slang, in reference to a star whose name would be the only one on a show's poster. To fill out "write in required matter" is recorded from 1880. Fill-in "substitute" (n.) is from 1918.
Complete by supplying required information, especially in writing. For example, Please fill out the application form, or I don't quite understand this drawing, so fill out the details. [Late 1800s]
Become enlarged, distended, rounded in outline. For example, The wind filled out the sails, or He's put on weight and really filled out. Applied to objects, this expression dates from about 1700, but to persons or animals becoming fatter, only from the late 1800s.
In addition to the idioms beginning with fill
- filled to the brim
- fill in
- fill out
- fill someone's shoes
- fill the bill
- back and fill
- get one's fill of
Also see underfull.