Etymology
Advertisement
fill (n.)
mid-13c., fille, "a full supply," from Old English fyllu "fullness, 'fill,' feast, satiety," from Proto-Germanic *full-ino- "fullness" (source also of Old High German fulli, German Fülle, Old Norse fyllr), noun of state from *fullaz "full" (see full (adj.)). Meaning "extra material in music" is from 1934.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
fill (v.)

Old English fyllan "to fill, make full, fill up, replenish, satisfy; complete, fulfill," from Proto-Germanic *fulljanan "to fill" (source also of Old Saxon fulljan, Old Norse fylla, Old Frisian fella, Dutch vullen, German füllen, Gothic fulljan "to fill, make full"), a derivative of adjective *fullaz "full" (see full (adj.)). Related: Filled.

To fill the bill (1882) originally was U.S. theatrical slang, in reference to a star of such magnitude his or her name would be the only one on a show's poster. To fill out "write in required matter" is recorded from 1880.

Related entries & more 
fill-in (n.)
"substitute," 1918 (as an adjective, 1916), from verbal phrase; see fill (v.), in (adv.). Earlier as a noun was fill-up (1811).
Related entries & more 
filling (adj.)
"calculated to fill or satisfy," 1620s, present-participle adjective from fill (v.).
Related entries & more 
overfill (v.)

"fill to excess," Old English oferfyllan; see over- + fill (v.). Related: Overfull; overfilling.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
backfill (n.)
1900, "material taken from an excavation used to fill a depression," 1900, from back fill (v.), which is attested by 1880; see back (adv.) + fill (v.).
Related entries & more 
landfill (n.)
1916, from land (n.) + fill (n.). A euphemism for dump (n.).
Related entries & more 
filler (n.)
late 15c., "one who fills," agent noun from fill (v.). Meaning "something used to fill" is from 1590s. Specifically of food products by 1901.
Related entries & more 
refill (v.)

also re-fill, "to fill again," 1680s, from re- "back, again" + fill (v.). Related: Refilled; refilling.

Related entries & more 
filling (n.)
c. 1400, "that which fills or fills up," verbal noun from fill (v.). Dentistry sense is from 1848. Filling station attested by 1915.
Related entries & more