- Amply stocked with something
- Generously fed to the point of fullness
Over the course of day-to-day life, we are constantly going through consumables, but every so often an ambitious undertaking demands that we be particularly well-stocked. Whether we're cooking a big meal for friends and family, going out on a camping trip or preparing for inclement weather, we've all had occasions where we need to have more than enough, just to be sure we're prepared for anything and everything. When amassing materials this thoroughly, one is not merely supplied but truly replete with supplies.
Replete is a word describing something that contains a generous quantity of something. More than simply being adequately filled or prepared, something that is replete is supplied so richly and amply that it exceeds one's expectations or their desired quantity. Often used in the phrase "replete with" followed by a noun (possibly qualified by an adjective), this term pertains to a thing's fullness, not the quantity or abundance of the items that fill it. Replete can sometimes be employed to characterize a person, but when it does it is usually in conjunction with an abstract concept, such as a personality trait or emotion. Your empathetic friend, for instance, could be replete with compassion for the people in her life. However, when attributed to a person, the word almost never denotes that they have a large quantity of physical objects, as replete describes something directly stored within something else. A person is more likely to contain an emotion than an object.
One notable exception is a less common and somewhat formal use of replete to illustrate the state of a person who is contentedly full of food. In this context, replete signifies more than simply the quantity of food one has consumed, implying that they have reached, or possibly exceeded, the point of culinary satisfaction. One who is replete not only couldn't fit another bite in their stomach, but would have no interest in doing so, as they are completely sated.
Example: In preparation for the party later that night, the cupboard was replete with snack food.
Example: Having lost his lover of decades, Rob was replete with emptiness.
Example: He had so eagerly and reflexively munched on tortilla chips that he was too replete to eat his burrito when it arrived.
First emerging in the late 1300s, in Late Middle English, the word replete's direct ancestor was the Old French word "replet," meaning "filled up," which dates back to earlier that same century. This French form derives from the Latin "repletus," the past participle of "replere," which in turn is composed of the prefix "re-," meaning "again," and the root "-plere," which meant "to fill."
Repletion: This noun form of replete captures the state of abundance of a certain item, or of a full stomach from a meal. It also carries the additional meaning of a state of satisfaction of one's wants.
Example: In advance of announcing their latest gadget, the store had stocked their shelves to repletion.
Example: His repletion after the feast was so acute that he skipped his next two meals.
Example: After saving up for months, the purchase of her new car finally gave her the repletion she had long sought.
From William Shakespeare's Sonnet 23:
As an unperfect actor on the stage,Who with his fear is put besides his part,Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart;So I, for fear of trust, forget to sayThe perfect ceremony of love's rite,And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,O'ercharg'd with burden of mine own love's might.
In the opening of this sonnet, Shakespeare presents an extended metaphor to explain how the love he feels is so overpowering that it inhibits him from fully expressing it. To illustrate his plight, he likens it to both an actor experiencing stage fright and a person that is so wholly filled, or replete, with anger that the sense of purpose that spurred them to anger is diminished.
- If your supplies are replete, your preparation is complete.
- One who is replete is too full to eat.
Bring out the linguist in you! What is your own interpretation of replete. Did you use replete in a game? Provide an example sentence or a literary quote.