What Does Fill You In Mean?

Fill You In Meaning

Definition: To give someone information about something that that person missed or didn’t know.

A similar expression is to catch you up on something.

Origin of Fill You In

People often use this phrasal verb (to fill in) to describe giving someone a quick, informal briefing about a meeting, event, or other occurrence that the person should know about.

It comes from the expression fill in the blanks, which originated in the 1800s. The word blanks in this idiom stands for unknown information and fill in means supply the missing information. By the 1900s, the shortened version, to fill someone in, was common as well.

Usually this idiom appears with an object pronoun, like fill me in, fill him in, or fill you in.

However, it is possible to use a proper noun, like a person’s name (fill Amy in), or a common noun (fill the boss in).

Examples of Fill You In

meaning of fill me inIn this dialogue, two employees are discussing a meeting that one of them cannot attend.

Deanna: Apparently, there will be a very important meeting tomorrow morning. I just got an email stressing how important it is to attend.

Emily: Really? If it is so important, they should have told us earlier. I scheduled a doctor’s appointment for tomorrow morning a few weeks ago.

Deanna: Don’t worry. I’ll take lots of notes and fill you in when you are finished with your appointment.

Emily: Thanks! I appreciate that!

filling someone inIn this dialogue, two friends are discussing a social event that one of them missed.

Patrick: I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to attend your birthday party. You see, what happened was–

Killian: Patrick, there’s no need to explain. Your wife filled me in. I heard about the family emergency that you had to deal with. I’m so sorry that happened.

More Examples

This excerpt is about a politician who received privileged information on biomedical stock.

  • Then in the summer, Mr. Price got in on the discounted sale after Mr. Collins filled him in on the company’s drug trial, according to Mr. Collins. –Washington Post

This excerpt is from an article about a woman who was stuck in her car after an accident.

  • At the hospital, she has vague memories of hearing the nurses and her parents talking. In the days since, they have filled her in on many details. –USA Today


The phrase fill someone in means to tell someone about something that he or she was unaware of.