fill in

Idioms & Phrases

fill in

  1. Complete something, especially by supplying more information or detail. For example, Be sure to fill in your salary history. It is also put as , as in We'll rely on Mary to fill in the blanks. Yet another related usage is fill someone in, as in I couldn't attend, so will you fill me in? The first term dates from the mid-1800s; the others from the first half of the 1900s. Also see fill out.

  2. Also, fill in for. Take someone's place, substitute for. For example, The understudy had to fill in at the last minute, or I can't come but my wife will fill in for me. Also see fill someone's shoes.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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