bill

1
[bil]

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 formsbill·er, noun

Synonyms for bill

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for fill the bill

bill

1

noun

money owed for goods or services suppliedan electricity bill
a written or printed account or statement of money owed
mainly British such an account for food and drink in a restaurant, hotel, etcUsual US and Canadian word: check
any printed or written list of items, events, etc, such as a theatre programmewho's on the bill tonight?
fit the bill or fill the bill informal to serve or perform adequately
a statute in draft, before it becomes law
a printed notice or advertisement; poster
US and Canadian a piece of paper money; note
an obsolete name for promissory note
archaic any document

verb (tr)

to send or present an account for payment to (a person)
to enter (items, goods, etc) on an account or statement
to advertise by posters
to schedule as a future programmethe play is billed for next week

Word Origin for bill

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

bill

2

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

bill

3

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

bill

4

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

Word Origin and History for fill the bill

bill

n.1

"written statement," mid-14c., from Anglo-French bille, Anglo-Latin billa "list," from Medieval Latin bulla "decree, seal, sealed document," in classical Latin "bubble, boss, stud, amulet for the neck" (hence "seal;" see bull (n.2)). Sense of "account, invoice" first recorded c.1400; that of "order to pay" (technically bill of exchange) is from 1570s; that of "paper money" is from 1660s. Meaning "draft of an act of Parliament" is from 1510s.

bill

n.2

"bird's beak," Old English bill "bill, bird's beak," related to bill, a poetic word for a kind of sword (especially one with a hooked blade), from a common Germanic word for cutting or chopping weapons (cf. Old High German bihal, Old Norse bilda "hatchet," Old Saxon bil "sword"), from PIE root *bheie- "to cut, to strike" (cf. Armenian bir "cudgel," Greek phitos "block of wood," Old Church Slavonic biti "to strike," Old Irish biail "ax"). Used also in Middle English of beak-like projections of land (e.g. Portland Bill).

bill

v.

"to send someone a bill of charge," 1864, from bill (n.1). Related: Billed; billing.

bill

n.3

ancient weapon, Old English bill "sword (especially one with a hooked blade), chopping tool," common Germanic (cf. Old Saxon bil "sword," Middle Dutch bile, Dutch bijl, Old High German bihal, German Beil, Old Norse bilda "hatchet." See bill (n.2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with fill the bill

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]

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.