[foo l]
See more synonyms for full on Thesaurus.com
adjective, full·er, full·est.
  1. completely filled; containing all that can be held; filled to utmost capacity: a full cup.
  2. complete; entire; maximum: a full supply of food for a three-day hike.
  3. of the maximum size, amount, extent, volume, etc.: a full load of five tons; to receive full pay.
  4. (of garments, drapery, etc.) wide, ample, or having ample folds.
  5. abundant; well-supplied: a yard full of litter; a cabinet full of medicine.
  6. filled or rounded out, as in form: a full bust.
  7. engrossed; occupied (usually followed by of): She was full of her own anxieties.
  8. of the same parents: full brothers.
  9. Music. ample and complete in volume or richness of sound.
  10. (of wines) having considerable body.
  11. Baseball.
    1. (of the count on a batter) amounting to three balls and two strikes: He hit a slider for a homer on a full count.
    2. having base runners at first, second, and third bases; loaded.
  12. being slightly oversized, as a sheet of glass cut too large to fit into a frame.
  13. Poker. of or relating to the three cards of the same denomination in a full house: He won the hand with a pair of kings and sixes full.
  1. exactly or directly: The blow struck him full in the face.
  2. very: You know full well what I mean.
  3. fully, completely, or entirely; quite; at least: The blow knocked him full around. It happened full 30 years ago.
verb (used with object)
  1. Sewing.
    1. to make full, as by gathering or pleating.
    2. to bring (the cloth) on one side of a seam to a little greater fullness than on the other by gathering or tucking very slightly.
verb (used without object)
  1. (of the moon) to become full.
  1. the highest or fullest state, condition, or degree: The moon is at the full.
  1. in full,
    1. to or for the full or required amount.
    2. without abridgment: The book was reprinted in full.
  2. 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)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for to the full


  1. holding or containing as much as possible; filled to capacity or near capacity
  2. abundant in supply, quantity, number, etcfull of energy
  3. having consumed enough food or drink
  4. (esp of the face or figure) rounded or plump; not thin
  5. (prenominal) with no part lacking; completea full dozen
  6. (prenominal) with all privileges, rights, etc; not restricteda full member
  7. (prenominal) of, relating to, or designating a relationship established by descent from the same parentsfull brother
  8. filled with emotion or sentimenta full heart
  9. (postpositive foll by of) occupied or engrossed (with)full of his own projects
  10. music
    1. powerful or rich in volume and sound
    2. completing a piece or section; concludinga full close
  11. (of a garment, esp a skirt) containing a large amount of fabric; of ample cut
  12. (of sails, etc) distended by wind
  13. (of wine, such as a burgundy) having a heavy body
  14. (of a colour) containing a large quantity of pure hue as opposed to white or grey; rich; saturated
  15. informal drunk
  16. full and by nautical another term for close-hauled
  17. full of oneself full of pride or conceit; egoistic
  18. full up filled to capacitythe cinema was full up
  19. in full cry (esp of a pack of hounds) in hot pursuit of quarry
  20. in full swing at the height of activitythe party was in full swing
    1. completely; entirely
    2. (in combination)full-grown; full-fledged
  1. exactly; directly; righthe hit him full in the stomach
  2. very; extremely (esp in the phrase full well)
  3. full out with maximum effort or speed
  1. the greatest degree, extent, etc
  2. British a ridge of sand or shingle along a seashore
  3. in full without omitting, decreasing, or shorteningwe paid in full for our mistake
  4. to the full to the greatest extent; thoroughly; fully
  1. (tr) needlework to gather or tuck
  2. (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


  1. (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 to the full



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 to the full

to the full

Also, to the fullest. To the maximum extent, completely, as in He had always lived life to the full. [Late 1300s]


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.