Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

fulfil - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] fulfil pronunciation in British English /fʊlˈfɪl/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlefulfilling
past tensefulfilled
past participlefulfilled
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to do a particular job, or to have a particular purpose
    fulfil a function/role/purpose:

    The church fulfils a necessary role in this town.

    We know which part of the human brain fulfils this function.

    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    to reach a particular standard, or to have the qualities that are necessary for something
    fulfil requirements/criteria:

    Do you fulfil the entry requirements for the course?

    fulfil conditions:

    Aid is dependent on certain political conditions being fulfilled.

  3. 3
    to achieve something that you wanted to do, or to get something that you hoped for
    fulfil a dream/ambition:

    The journey fulfilled a long-cherished dream.

    fulfil an aim/objective:

    They hope to fulfil their objectives by 2004.

    fulfil someone’s expectations (=be as good as they expect):

    Supporters feel that the team has not fulfilled their expectations.

  4. 4
    to do what you must do, for example as part of a job
    fulfil an obligation/duty/commitment:

    Landlords who refuse to fulfil their obligations may be liable to fines.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      to do what you have said you will do
      fulfil a promise/pledge:

      The government has failed to fulfil its election promises.

  5. 5
    to make you happy and satisfied because you are using your abilities

    Being a wife and mother doesn’t really fulfil me.



to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play