From Old Spanish henchir, from older fenchir, which had the variant enchir, from Latin impleō, implēre (to fill something) (possibly through a Vulgar Latin form *implio, implīre). Cognate of Portuguese encher, Catalan omplir, French emplir, Italian empire.

According to Coromines & Pascual, the initial f- is likely due to phonetic and semantic similarities with finchar > modern hinchar. In dwindling use by the 16th century, henchir was increasingly limited to idioms, and they mention that Juan de Valdés complained about needing to use the verb in such expressions due to an easy confusion with hinchar, giving as an example De servidores leales se hinchen los ospitales, meaning 'the guesthouses are filled with loyal servants' (with henchir), but ambiguously also the non-sensical 'the guesthouses should be air-filled using loyal servants' (with hinchar).


  • IPA(key): /enˈt͡ʃiɾ/, [ẽnʲˈt͡ʃiɾ]


henchir (first-person singular present hincho, first-person singular preterite henchí, past participle henchido)

  1. (literary, transitive) to swell, to fill something
  2. (obsolete, figuratively, transitive) to fill (a job position)


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