from The Century Dictionary.

  • To fill full; fill to the utmost capacity, as a vessel, a room, etc.
  • To make full or complete; fill the measure of; bring out or manifest fully.
  • To fill the requirements or purport of; carry out or into effect; bring to consummation; satisfy by performance: as, to fulfil a prayer or petition; to fulfil one's promises or the terms of a contract; the prophecy was fulfilled.
  • To carry on or out fully or completely; perform; execute: as, to fulfil the requirements of citizenship.
  • To fill out; carry on to the end; continue to the close; finish the course of: as, to fulfil an apprenticeship, a term of office, or (archaically) a period of time.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb archaic To fill up.
  • verb To satisfy, carry out, bring to completion (an obligation, a requirement, etc.).
  • verb To emotionally or artistically satisfy; to develop one's gifts to the fullest.
  • verb To obey, follow, comply with (a rule, requirement etc.).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb meet the requirements or expectations of
  • verb fill or meet a want or need
  • verb put in effect


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Late Old English fullfyllan, corresponding to full + fill.


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  • Is the word spelled fulfil or fulfill? I see both with claims in both directions that the other is misspelled.

    September 29, 2015

  • Hi digik! If you put fulfill and fulfil into the Google Ngram Viewer ( you'll see that over time, the double-ll version has overtaken the single-l version.

    If you toggle the corpus from English to American English or British English, you'll see that fulfil seems to be chiefly British, and fulfill is American, and that the American spelling is seen more commonly overall. But if I was writing a paper for a class in England and I saw the red spellcheck squiggly line come up, I'd ask a local.

    September 29, 2015