bill

1
[ bil ]
/ bɪl /

noun

verb (used with object)

Idioms

    fill the bill, to fulfill the purpose or need well: As a sprightly situation comedy this show fills the bill.

Origin of bill

1
1300–50; Middle English bille < Anglo-French < Anglo-Latin billa for Late Latin bulla bull2

Related forms

bill·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for fill the bill (1 of 4)

bill

1
/ (bɪl) /

noun


verb (tr)

Word Origin for bill

C14: from Anglo-Latin billa, alteration of Late Latin bulla document, bull ³

British Dictionary definitions for fill the bill (2 of 4)

bill

2
/ (bɪl) /

noun

the mouthpart of a bird, consisting of projecting jaws covered with a horny sheath; beak. It varies in shape and size according to the type of food eaten and may also be used as a weapon
any beaklike mouthpart in other animals
a narrow promontoryPortland Bill
nautical the pointed tip of the fluke of an anchor

verb (intr)

(of birds, esp doves) to touch bills together
(of lovers) to kiss and whisper amorously

Word Origin for bill

Old English bile; related to bill bill ³

British Dictionary definitions for fill the bill (3 of 4)

bill

3
/ (bɪl) /

noun

a pike or halberd with a narrow hooked blade
short for billhook

Word Origin for bill

Old English bill sword, related to Old Norse bīldr instrument used in blood-letting, Old High German bil pickaxe

British Dictionary definitions for fill the bill (4 of 4)

bill

4
/ (bɪl) /

noun

ornithol another word for boom 1 (def. 4)

Word Origin for bill

C18: from dialect beel bell ² (vb)
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 the bill (1 of 2)

fill the bill

Serve a particular purpose well, as in I was afraid there wasn't enough chicken for everyone, but this casserole will fill the bill, or Karen's testimony just fills the bill, so we're sure to get a conviction. This expression alludes to adding less-known performers to a program (or bill) in order to make a long enough entertainment. [First half of 1800s]


Idioms and Phrases with fill the bill (2 of 2)

bill

see clean bill of health; fill the bill; foot the bill; sell a bill of goods.


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