[foo l-fil]

verb (used with object), ful·filled, ful·fil·ling.


or ful·fil


verb (used with object)

to carry out, or bring to realization, as a prophecy or promise.
to perform or do, as duty; obey or follow, as commands.
to satisfy (requirements, obligations, etc.): a book that fulfills a long-felt need.
to bring to an end; finish or complete, as a period of time: He felt that life was over when one had fulfilled his threescore years and ten.
to develop the full potential of (usually used reflexively): She realized that she could never fulfill herself in such work.

Origin of fulfill

before 1000; Middle English fulfillen, Old English fulfyllan. See full1, fill
Related formsful·fill·er, nouno·ver·ful·fill, verb (used with object)pre·ful·fill, verb (used with object)su·per·ful·fill, verb (used with object)

Synonyms for fulfill

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

Examples from the Web for fulfil

Contemporary Examples of fulfil

Historical Examples of fulfil

  • Heaven knows how anxiously I sought to fulfil that solemn vow!

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • A bargain's a bargain, and, having made the bargain, of course it is your own look-out that you fulfil it.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Some day you will have to fulfil your promise of taking me over the works.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • You have not applied to me yet to fulfil my offer, which I think was a very fair one.'

  • She did not seem at all to fulfil the promise of her childhood.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for fulfil


US fulfill

verb -fils or US -fills, -filling or -filled (tr)

to bring about the completion or achievement of (a desire, promise, etc)
to carry out or execute (a request, etc)
to conform with or satisfy (regulations, demands, etc)
to finish or reach the end ofhe fulfilled his prison sentence
fulfil oneself to achieve one's potential or desires
Derived Formsfulfiller, nounfulfilment or US fulfillment, noun

Word Origin for fulfil

Old English fulfyllan
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 fulfil

see fulfill. Related: fulfilment.



Old English fullfyllan "fill up, make full," from full + fyllan (see fill, which is ultimately from the root of full). Used early of prophecy and perhaps a translation of Latin implere, adimplere. Related: Fulfilled; fulfilling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper