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
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
With Bryson Barnes struggling as the temporary starter, redshirt freshman Nate Johnson stepped up and threw for 82 yards, ran for 32 yards and led the Utes to a pair of touchdown drives in the final two minutes.—Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2023 Here, all the celebs who made the trek for the final weekend of play.—Kate Hogan, Peoplemag, 10 Sep. 2023 While Mark Meadows, President Donald J. Trump’s final chief of staff, turned over more than 9,000 documents to the panel, his deputy, Dan Scavino, did not provide the committee with records.—New York Times, 9 Sep. 2023 The Blazers forced three turnovers a year ago and held the Eagles more than 100 yards below their final season average.—Evan Dudley, al, 9 Sep. 2023 Since the April 18 announcement, subscribers will not be charged for keeping any unreturned discs and may receive up to 10 additional discs by the final shipping date, Sept. 29.—Kalia Richardson, Rolling Stone, 9 Sep. 2023 Coco Gauff, of the United States, reacts after defeating Aryna Sabalenka, of Belarus, to win the women's singles final of the U.S. Open tennis championships, Saturday in New York.—Dennis Romero, NBC News, 9 Sep. 2023 Both teams are in action next weekend for their final nonleague tune-ups, but neither are playing on Friday night.—Rick Hoff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Sep. 2023 Many had been skeptical that there would be a final communique, which would have been the first time one was not released and have been a blow to the prestige of the G20.—Adam Schreck and David Rising, BostonGlobe.com, 9 Sep. 2023
At the French Open finals, Tom Brady sat in Djokovic's box next to Jelena.—Town & Country, 10 Sep. 2023 No tourney twin: This tournament came two weeks following the finals of the second edition of ATP tournament also known as the San Diego Open last year.—San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Sep. 2023 My work, from sketches to finals and everything in between, including contracts and briefings—everything—is already being filed and conserved in one of the Dutch National Archives, where it’s kept in a safe, museum-like environment.—Vogue, 8 Sep. 2023 But by the time the Top Fuel finals rolled around, the oil spill had happened five hours ago — and the left lane was back up to standard.—Chloe Peterson, The Indianapolis Star, 5 Sep. 2023 The buzz: First team all-state as a sophomore and junior, earned Division 2 Dream Team MVP at the state finals.—Tom Lang, Detroit Free Press, 3 Sep. 2023 Biles pulled out of the team finals during the Olympics due to mental health challenges.—Elizabeth Ayoola, Essence, 30 Aug. 2023 Venus was a runner-up at the 2002 U.S. Open, losing in the finals to her sister Serena 6-4, 6-3.—Town & Country, 29 Aug. 2023 Along with his brother Dean, Doug Peabody was a big part of the 1979 Colts team that reached the San Diego Section finals.—Glae Thien, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Aug. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'final.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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
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.
: the last match or game of a tournament—usually used in plural
: the last examination in a course—often used in plural
Middle English final "perfect, final, not to be changed," from early French final (same meaning), from Latin finalis "final, relating to the end" — related to define, finish, infinity
: 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
: being a decision that precludes the right to appeal or to continue a case in any other court upon the merits: as
: 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
: 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
: being the last in a series, process, or progress