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See also: fill in and fillin'



From the verb phrase fill in.


fill-in (plural fill-ins)

  1. A temporary replacement for another, especially at a job.
    • 2012, Barry F. Schnell, The Charmurz, page 205:
      He went in to the Calsag bar to wrangle two fill-ins for the Goldenhoys as ordered.
    • 2013 -, Eugene J. McArdle, Snapshots in Time: As I Recall It, page 10:
      I was a fill-in. What that meant was you rode with each salesperson to learn his route, and then you could actually run his route when he was off or on vacation.
  2. A substitution.
    • 2004, Anthony Elliott, Social Theory Since Freud: Traversing Social Imaginaries, page 72:
      All our language is loose: whatever one means to say, all words are fill-ins for other words - as any cursory glance at a dictionary reveals.
  3. (mathematics) An intermediate result that must be stored temporarily during the course of a sparse matrix computation.
    • 1991, Zahari Zlatev -, Computational Methods for General Sparse Matrices, page 19:
      When a fill-in, aij(s) is created in the course of the computation, it may be necessary to make copies of the contents of certain parts of the ALU and CNLU at the ends of these arrays.
    • 2002, István Maros, Computational Techniques of the Simplex Method, page 131:
      In practice they are very sparse and generate few fill-ins in the remaining columns.
    • 2009, Ross Baldick, Applied Optimization, page 248:
      Suppose that there were no fill-ins added in the course of factorization. (This is unrealistic, but we have developed techniques to minimize the number of fill-ins and in practice the number of fill-ins may be relatively small.)
  4. A question or puzzle in which one is expected to fill in a missing part of something.
    • 2003, Vladimir Geroimenko, ‎Chaomei Chen, Visualizing the Semantic Web:
      The main interaction styles supported by Web systems are direct manipulation, menus and form fill-ins.
    • 2005, Gisela Bencomo, CliffsAP Spanish Language, page 117:
      This part tests your writing skills in Spanish, and it consists of three different exercises: paragraph fill-ins, discrete sentence fill-ins, and an essay.
    • 2007, Gene A. Grant, The Adventures of Reverend Rocket, page 463:
      I would pick three or four activities each day from a list of: oral reading, silent reading, filmstrips on the text book subject, short quizzes, chapter tests, semester exams, quarter exams, review sheets, "find the word" puzzles, research papers with library visits, lectures, debates (about four times a year), phonograph records from the library downtown for the music of the time era we were studying, movies, field trips, spelling lists, match the date with the name lists, timelines, map fill-ins, etc.
    • 2018, Jaja Jaja Books, Classic Word Fill-In:
      This is truly a word fill-in book like no other.
  5. (music) A musical embellishment (usually percussion) that is added to connect musical phrases.
    • 2005, Ted Reed -, Drum Solos and Fill-Ins for the Progressive Drummer:
      The following abbreviations are used for all drum solos and fill-ins.
    • 2011, Rob Leytham, Rock Drumming & Soloing Methods, page 9:
      Fill-ins usually happen at the end of a four or eight-measure musical phrase.
  6. Something added to fill a gap.
    • 1992, Terry J. Reedy, ‎Chandra L. Reedy, Principles of Experimental Design for Art Conservation Research:
      With too many fill-ins the statistical results become dubious.
    • 2004, Lawrence McClellan, The Later Swing Era, 1942 to 1955, page 50:
      Originally, we'd planned a Basie-type thing, using lots of open rhythm, only without any piano for fill-ins.
    • 2006, David N. Campbell, Our Lost Language - How We Once Talked, page 6:
      These bits were fill-ins between what had to be said to carry on life and work and they were constant.
    • 2007, Kelly Parra, Graffiti Girl, page 135:
      There were all kinds of different tips with varying widths of sprays—fat and skinny ones with special names. Fats were for fill-ins, and skinny tips usually for the outlines, unless you used a fat cap for a tag and attempted to “flare” the ends of your letters.
    • 2012, Janet Taylor, The Wise Woman: A Perry County Tale, page 129:
      Bess never understood why the corners of the foundation had to have these rounded fill-ins; they weren't load bearing and were plastered over.
    • 2014, Gerhard Besier, Neither Good Nor Bad: Why Human Beings Behave How They Do:
      As we do not like knowledge gaps, we construct “fill-ins” to enable a coherent sense of the self and an awareness of others.
    • 2014, Marcus J. Guillory -, Red Now and Laters, page 8:
      Roadways became patchworks of asphalt fill-ins and forgotten cement.
  7. Something added to increase the size of something; padding or filler.
    • 2001, Bud Fine, Afterthoughts, page 29:
      There was, at that time, a small film producing complex known as Ben Blake Studios where a variety of trailers, commercials, fill-ins, and (yes) screen tests were shot.
    • 2002, David Crystal, The English Language: A Guided Tour of the Language:
      It is not a gossipy yarn; nor is it a dry, monotonous account, full of such customary 'fill-ins' as 'romantic moonlight casting murky shadows down a long, winding country road'.
    • 2011, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction, page 258:
      Thus a film like René Laloux's Fantastic Planet (1973) clearly involves human or humanlike characters—yet the mode of presentation eschews historical fill-ins, and many of the events are hallucinatory rather than realistic.
    • 2011, William R. Hugo, Studying the Life of Saint Francis of Assisi:
      When making these comparisons, we can clearly see many fill-ins throughout the stories. Most of them are incidental and have little bearing on the story; others are remarkably important.
    • 2015, Bart Beaty, Twelve-Cent Archie, page 167:
      As creators produced more material than might be published in a given month, a back stock of material would be accumulated, much of which could be used as fill-ins in cases when publishing schedules might run afoul.
  8. (marketing) A product category that is used to complete a range or variety of a product line.
    • 2009, K. V. S. Madaan, Fundamentals of Retailing, page 145:
      Since consumer buying behaviour to obtain staples is different from fill-ins, retailers strategy will also differ.
    • 2011, Chiplunkar, Product Category Management, page 104:
      Variety enhancers may have medium to high margins, while the fill-ins will have higher profit margins due to the longer time these items may need to move off the shelf in a retail store.