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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The final decision on the map could ultimately lie with the Florida Supreme Court, which has turned more conservative in recent years after the retirement of several justices who have been replaced by DeSantis’ appointees., 11 May 2022 The commission, known as the CPUC, has delayed taking a vote on the proposal for months, and the call for more comments figures to push back the likelihood of a final decision to at least July. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 May 2022 The zoo says visitors should be able to catch a glimpse of baby Jolene and her mom on most days, though mom Kitra will be the one to make the final decision. Breanna Bell,, 10 May 2022 In the coming months, the department is expected to make a final decision about whether to bring criminal or civil charges, or to reach some sort of settlement that could include a significant fine. New York Times, 10 May 2022 The complaint would then go to a court hearing for a final decision by a judge. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, 9 May 2022 However, Reed won’t make a final decision for a few more days. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, 8 May 2022 ConocoPhillips has not made a final investment decision on Willow, which could cost $5 billion before oil flows. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 6 May 2022 Reddy predicted that such groups will continue to provide assistance regardless of the Supreme Court's final decision. Morgan Sung, NBC News, 5 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Brebeuf also won four Circle City Conference championships and a won a sectional title in 2015-16 before falling to Tri-West in the regional final. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 19 Apr. 2022 Hillmon finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolverines, who held their first three tourney opponents under 50 points to reach their first regional final, but were unable to hold down the Cardinals for the full 40 minutes. Fox News, 29 Mar. 2022 And while Shaun White and Chloe Kim can't take two steps around this snowboard park without getting noticed, Jacobellis walked alone with a member of the U.S. staff a few hours before her final. CBS News, 9 Feb. 2022 For example, a softball final scheduled in advance for Arizona State University as part of a contractual arrangement would be moved to the University of Arizona if two teams from the Tucson area make the championship game. Claire Cornelius, The Arizona Republic, 20 Apr. 2022 The Wildcats fell to Johnstown, 2-1, in the Division III regional final at Wright State University on a walk-off double. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, 19 Apr. 2022 The eighth straight Crimson Tide win came with a 6-3 final at No. 1 Tennessee. Michael Casagrande |, al, 15 Apr. 2022 Boerne’s offense was handcuffed with the absence of junior forward Kylie Combs who couldn’t play because of a red card she was issued against Calallen in Saturday’s regional final. David Hinojosa, San Antonio Express-News, 13 Apr. 2022 The 6-foot-2-inch Minnesota native tallied two assists in the Big Ten final against Michigan and has blocked 12 shots over the Gophers’ last three games. Andrew Mahoney,, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near final



final cadence

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Statistics for final

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Final.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for final


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

More from Merriam-Webster on final

Nglish: Translation of final for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of final for Arabic Speakers


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