fill in

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See also: fill-in and fillin'



  • (file)


fill in (third-person singular simple present fills in, present participle filling in, simple past and past participle filled in)

  1. (transitive) To fill; to replace material that is absent or has been removed.
    After you're done laying the pipe, fill in the trench.
    • 2022 January 12, Benedict le Vay, “The heroes of Soham...”, in RAIL, number 948, page 43:
      Typically for the 'get-on-with-it' era, the railway and military worked like demons to restore the vital rail link. The crater was rapidly filled in and the earth tamped solid, the wreckage was removed by breakdown trains, new rails and sleepers were rushed forward by willing hands, and US Army bulldozers piled in. By 2020 on the same day, both tracks were open for traffic again where there had been a gaping pit just hours before.
  2. (transitive, idiomatic) To inform somebody, especially to supply someone missing or missed information.
    If you know anything about this, maybe you can fill me in.
  3. (intransitive, idiomatic) To substitute for somebody or something.
    He can't go on vacation very often because there is nobody to fill in for him.
  4. (transitive, chiefly Britain) To complete a form or questionnaire with requested information.
    Synonym: fill out
    • 2011 December 16, Denis Campbell, “Hospital staff 'lack skills to cope with dementia patients'”, in Guardian[1]:
      The findings emerged from questionnaires filled in by 2,211 staff in 145 wards of 55 hospitals in England and Wales and 105 observations of care of dementia patients. Two-thirds of staff said they had not had enough training to provide proper care, 50% said they had not been trained how to communicate properly with such patients and 54% had not been told how to handle challenging or aggressive behaviour.
  5. (slang) To beat up; to physically assault.
    Talk to me like that again and I'll fill you in!
    • 1982, Elvis Costello, Shipbuilding:
      It's just a rumour that was spread around town
      Somebody said that someone got filled in
      For saying that people get killed in
      The result of this shipbuilding

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