fi·​nal | \ ˈfī-nᵊl How to pronounce final (audio) \

Definition of final

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : not to be altered or undone all sales are final
b : of or relating to a concluding court action or proceeding final decree
2 : coming at the end : being the last in a series, process, or progress the final chapter final exams
3 : of or relating to the ultimate purpose or result of a process our final goal the final product



Definition of final (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is final: such as
a : a deciding match, game, heat, or trial usually used in plural
b : the last examination in a course often used in plural

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Choose the Right Synonym for final


last, final, terminal, ultimate mean following all others (as in time, order, or importance). last applies to something that comes at the end of a series but does not always imply that the series is completed or stopped. last page of a book last news we had of him final applies to that which definitely closes a series, process, or progress. final day of school terminal may indicate a limit of extension, growth, or development. terminal phase of a disease ultimate implies the last degree or stage of a long process beyond which further progress or change is impossible. the ultimate collapse of the system

Examples of final in a Sentence

Adjective the final act of the play They won their final four games. in the final minutes of the game Our last stop was Bangkok, but our final destination is Tokyo. The plans are undergoing final review. What was the final score? The final product was not what we had expected. Noun He failed his history finals. He failed his history final.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The city clerk will release a preliminary vote tally on Tuesday night at about 8:30 p.m., but the results won’t be final as there will be more ballots to process. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, "The Anchorage election is Tuesday. Here’s how to vote - and what happens next.," 6 Apr. 2021 Sanders previously said Cruz and Wescott would be the final two witnesses interviewed. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Attorney for man struck by Jeffersontown Police wants officer fired," 5 Apr. 2021 Head coach Jaap Stam indicated earlier in the preseason that the final matches could serve as his dress rehearsals for FCC's opener against Nashville SC at Nissan Stadium on April 17. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, "FC Cincinnati confirms center back acquisition, end of Kyle Scott's trial," 5 Apr. 2021 The deluxe album is out now, just ahead of the final episode of the docuseries, which airs tomorrow, April 6. Justin Curto, Vulture, "Demi Lovato Drops Deluxe, Giving New Album an Even Longer Title," 5 Apr. 2021 The deadline for an early entree player — one who is not automatically eligible for the draft — to put their name in for consideration is May 30 and the final date to withdraw from the draft is July 19. Daniel Oyefusi,, "Mark Turgeon and Maryland struck gold in the transfer portal. More big moves could still be coming. | ANALYSIS," 5 Apr. 2021 One of the only things better than solving a math problem over tea is coming up with one that ends up inspiring decades of mathematical innovation on the way to its final resolution. Quanta Magazine, "Mathematicians Settle Erdős Coloring Conjecture," 5 Apr. 2021 For day, experts recommend adding on an SPF as the final flourish. Arden Fanning Andrews, Vogue, "Experts Demystify 2021’s Best Face Serums," 5 Apr. 2021 The statement said the professor, theology department chair Richard Gaillardetz, would resume his duties when the department gathers for its final meeting of the academic year on April 28., "Law firm concludes sexual assault allegations made against prominent BC theology professor were false," 5 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Gicewicz is the leading goal-scorer for the Minutemen with 17, including a hat trick in the 4-0 win against Bemidji State in the regional final., "UMass loses starting goalie, three others for Frozen Four due to COVID-19 contact tracing protocols," 6 Apr. 2021 Bedford, meanwhile, was slated to meet Detroit Cass Tech in the regional final on March 12 when the pandemic hit. Brad Emons, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan high school girls basketball quarterfinal: Wayne Memorial tops Temperance Bedford," 6 Apr. 2021 Together since the third grade, Jacobi and Kaufman-Renn never lost a tournament game in high school after their freshman season against Evansville Bosse in the regional final. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, "Silver Creek wraps up a second Class 3A state title in three years with a wild finish," 4 Apr. 2021 Barnes was an assistant at Washington for five years before returning to her alma mater following the 2015-16 season when the Huskies reached the Final Four after beating Stanford in the regional final. Michelle Gardner, USA TODAY, "Arizona and Stanford to battle in first all Pac-12 NCAA women's basketball championship game," 4 Apr. 2021 The Bruins completed their underdog run to the Final Four with a 51-49 win vs. Michigan in the regional final. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Gonzaga vs. UCLA in Final Four (4/3/21): How to watch free live stream, odds," 3 Apr. 2021 Mason made their first state appearance in 2018, defeating Moeller in the regional final. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "Future is bright for Mason, Moeller baseball thanks to talented underclassmen," 31 Mar. 2021 All five starters scored in double figures in the regional final, showing off the balance that Couch preaches. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "KHSAA Boys Sweet 16: What to know about McCracken County-Bullitt East matchup," 31 Mar. 2021 The Bears will play Arkansas in the South regional final on Monday. Eddie Pells, Star Tribune, "Close range: Baylor grinds to Elite 8 in 62-51 win ova 'Nova," 27 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'final.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of final


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1609, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for final


Middle English, "pertaining to an end or conclusion, effecting a close, ultimate, conclusive," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin fīnālis "last, at the end, ultimate," going back to Latin, "of boundaries," from fīnis "boundary, limit, terminal point, ending" (of uncertain origin) + -ālis -al entry 1

Note: According to an older hypothesis, fīnis goes back to *fig-sn-is, a derivative from the base of fīgere "to drive in, insert, fasten" (see fix entry 1), assuming that the word originally referred to some sort of boundary marker fixed to a tree or driven into the ground. A more recent suggestion sees fīnis going back to *bhiH-n-i, a derivative of an Indo-European verbal base *bhei̯H- "strike, break," seen also in an o-grade derivative *bhoi̯H-n-o-, whence Germanic *baina- "bone" and "straight" (in Old Norse beinn "straight"); (see bone entry 1); in this case fīnis would have referred originally to an upright branch or stake used to mark boundaries. Both hypotheses are in the end speculative, as the semantic prehistory of fīnis in Latin is unknown.


derivative of final entry 1

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Time Traveler for final

Time Traveler

The first known use of final was in the 14th century

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Statistics for final

Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Final.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for final



English Language Learners Definition of final

: the last competition (such as a game or race) or set of competitions in a series
: the examinations that happen at the end of a class, term, or course of study
US : an examination at the end of a class


fi·​nal | \ ˈfī-nᵊl How to pronounce final (audio) \

Kids Definition of final

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : coming or happening at the end final exams
2 : not to be changed The decision of the judges is final.

Other Words from final

finally adverb



Kids Definition of final (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the last match or game of a tournament
2 : a final examination in a course



Legal Definition of final

1 : ending a court action or proceeding leaving nothing further to be determined by the court or to be done except execution of the judgment but not precluding appeal used of an order, decision, judgment, decree, determination, or sentence — see also finality, final judgment rule — compare interlocutory
2 : being a decision that precludes the right to appeal or to continue a case in any other court upon the merits: as
a : being a decision for which availability of appeal has been exhausted and concerning which a writ of certiorari has been denied or the time to petition for certiorari has expired
b : being a decision of the Supreme Court of the U.S. that terminates the litigation between parties on the merits and leaves nothing for the lower court to do in case of an affirmance except to execute the judgment
3 : being the last in a series, process, or progress a final payment

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More from Merriam-Webster on final

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for final

Nglish: Translation of final for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of final for Arabic Speakers

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