(noun, verb)


1. The material that has been used to refill an excavation.

2. (US) Reserve support personnel.

3. (US) That which backfills; a replacement.

4. (literature) Material in a story set earlier in the past, providing history or context for the current action.


1. To refill a hole with the material dug out of it.

2. (archaeology) To refill an excavation unit to restore the former ground surface and/or to preserve the unit and make it recognizable as having been excavated.

3. (US) To provide reserve support.

4. (US) To replenish or restock due to attrition or loss.

- The company backfilled Joe's position after he was terminated.