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See also: back-fill


Alternative forms[edit]


From back- +‎ fill.


backfill ‎(third-person singular simple present backfills, present participle backfilling, simple past and past participle backfilled)

  1. To refill a hole with the material dug out of it.
  2. (archaeology) To refill an excavation unit to restore the former ground surface and/or to preserve the unit and make it recognizable as having been excavated.
    • We backfilled the cistern with pea gravel to discourage its use as a refuse container.
  3. (US) To provide reserve support.
  4. (US) To replenish or restock due to attrition or loss.
    The company backfilled Joe's position after he was terminated.


backfill ‎(countable and uncountable, plural backfills)

  1. The material that has been used to refill an excavation.
  2. (US) Reserve support personnel.
  3. (US) That which backfills; a replacement.
  4. (literature) Material in a story set earlier in the past, providing history or context for the current action.

Derived terms[edit]