in full,
    1. to or for the full or required amount.
    2. without abridgment: The book was reprinted in full.
    to the full, to the greatest extent; thoroughly: They enjoyed themselves to the full.

Origin of full

before 900; Middle English, Old English full, ful; cognate with Gothic fulls, Old Norse fullr, Old High German foll (German voll); akin to Latin plēnus, Greek plḗrēs
Related formsfull·ness, noun
Can be confusedfull fullness fulsome (see usage note at fulsome) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fullness

Contemporary Examples of fullness

Historical Examples of fullness

British Dictionary definitions for fullness




holding or containing as much as possible; filled to capacity or near capacity
abundant in supply, quantity, number, etcfull of energy
having consumed enough food or drink
(esp of the face or figure) rounded or plump; not thin
(prenominal) with no part lacking; completea full dozen
(prenominal) with all privileges, rights, etc; not restricteda full member
(prenominal) of, relating to, or designating a relationship established by descent from the same parentsfull brother
filled with emotion or sentimenta full heart
(postpositive foll by of) occupied or engrossed (with)full of his own projects
  1. powerful or rich in volume and sound
  2. completing a piece or section; concludinga full close
(of a garment, esp a skirt) containing a large amount of fabric; of ample cut
(of sails, etc) distended by wind
(of wine, such as a burgundy) having a heavy body
(of a colour) containing a large quantity of pure hue as opposed to white or grey; rich; saturated
informal drunk
full and by nautical another term for close-hauled
full of oneself full of pride or conceit; egoistic
full up filled to capacitythe cinema was full up
in full cry (esp of a pack of hounds) in hot pursuit of quarry
in full swing at the height of activitythe party was in full swing


  1. completely; entirely
  2. (in combination)full-grown; full-fledged
exactly; directly; righthe hit him full in the stomach
very; extremely (esp in the phrase full well)
full out with maximum effort or speed


the greatest degree, extent, etc
British a ridge of sand or shingle along a seashore
in full without omitting, decreasing, or shorteningwe paid in full for our mistake
to the full to the greatest extent; thoroughly; fully


(tr) needlework to gather or tuck
(intr) (of the moon) to be fully illuminated
Derived Formsfullness or esp US fulness, noun

Word Origin for full

Old English; related to Old Norse fullr, Old High German foll, Latin plēnus, Greek plērēs; see fill




(of cloth, yarn, etc) to become or to make (cloth, yarn, etc) heavier and more compact during manufacture through shrinking and beating or pressing

Word Origin for full

C14: from Old French fouler, ultimately from Latin fullō a fuller 1
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 fullness

early 14c., from full (adj.) + -ness. Apparently not a survival of Old English fulnes.



Old English full "completely, full, perfect, entire, utter," from Proto-Germanic *fullaz (cf. Old Saxon full, Old Frisian ful, Old Norse fullr, Old High German fol, German voll, Gothic fulls), from PIE *pele- (1) "to fill" (see poly-).

Adverbial sense was common in Middle English (full well, full many, etc.). Related: Fuller; fullest. Full moon was Old English fulles monan; first record of full-blood in relation to racial purity is from 1812. Full house is 1710 in the theatrical sense, 1887 in the poker sense.



"to tread or beat cloth to cleanse or thicken it," late 14c., from Old French fouler, from Latin fullo (see foil (v.)); Old English had the agent-noun fullere, probably directly from Latin fullo.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with fullness


In addition to the idioms beginning with full

  • full blast
  • full circle, come
  • full of beans
  • full of crap
  • full of hot air
  • full of it
  • full of oneself
  • full speed ahead
  • full swing
  • full tilt, at
  • full well

also see:

  • glass is half full
  • have one's hands full
  • in full swing
  • to the full

Also see underfill.

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