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


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.


He failed his history finals. He failed his history final.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

After Federer stormed back again in the fourth, Djokovic gutted out a nerve wracking fifth set in the longest final in Wimbledon history. Ellen J. Horrow, USA TODAY, "Novak Djokovic tops Roger Federer in epic final to claim fifth Wimbledon title," 14 July 2019 Then Sampras, who was seeded seventeenth, went on to win the tournament, defeating Andre Agassi in the final, stunning much of the tennis world. Gerald Marzorati, The New Yorker, "On a Day at Wimbledon When Serena Williams Didn’t Have It, Simona Halep Had It All," 13 July 2019 Reliever Keynan Middleton, also in the final stages of Tommy John rehab, struck out three after loading the bases in one inning for Class-A Inland Empire on Thursday night. Mike Digiovanna,, "Angels' Jonathan Lucroy can't remember the collision that left him bloody and broken," 12 July 2019 The marshals are in the final stages of transferring inmates to facilities outside of the county. Cliff Pinckard,, "Lake Erie’s harmful algal bloom could be worst since 2015: The Wake Up for Friday, July 12, 2019," 12 July 2019 In Sunday's final, Federer will go up against Novak Djokovic, who is the defending champion and seeded No. 1. Howard Fendrich, Houston Chronicle, "Roger Federer tops Rafael Nadal in Wimbledon semifinals," 12 July 2019 The Rangers fell to Prosper 11-5 in the final at McKinney on May 12, but the title game appearance was the first time a San Antonio-area team had made it. Alex Miller,, "Lacrosse growing among San Antonio youth, across Texas," 12 July 2019 The snake, a 13-foot, 80-pound female, was in the final thawing stage, piled in coils in and around a metal sink. Gena Steffens, Smithsonian, "The Snakes That Ate Florida," 11 July 2019 In the final, Sage Creek blasted Classical Academy 14-1 for the crown. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Championship caps senior’s send-off," 11 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In each of his three Wimbledon finals against Federer, Djokovic has emerged victorious. Sam Farmer,, "Novak Djokovic wins his fifth Wimbledon title in epic defeat of Roger Federer," 14 July 2019 For England, a first men's World Cup title in its first final for 27 years. James Masters, CNN, "England defeats New Zealand in astonishing Cricket World Cup final," 14 July 2019 On their way to their first finals appearance, the Dutch also defeated Japan and Italy in elimination rounds. Lila Bromberg, USA TODAY, "World Cup 2019 final: How to watch USWNT vs. Netherlands; start time, TV, streaming info," 7 July 2019 The United States women’s national team is ranked first in the world, has won three World Cup titles, including the last one in 2015, and will play in its third consecutive final. Alicia Delgallo, Pro Soccer USA, "USWNT says it won’t underestimate Netherlands in World Cup final," 7 July 2019 Vanderbilt beat Michigan 8-2 in Game 3 of the College World Series finals Wednesday to win the national championship. Dana Scott, azcentral, "Rock legend Bret Michaels donates $10K to Vanderbilt player's daughter," 27 June 2019 Mason Hickman and Jake Eder combined for 14 strikeouts, Michigan ace Karl Kauffmann was knocked out in the fourth inning, and the Commodores won the College World Series with an 8-2 victory in Game 3 of the finals Wednesday night. Mark Heim |,, "Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker compares Tim Corbin to Nick Saban after winning College World Series," 27 June 2019 Carmel is looking for its fifth state finals appearance in 6A since 2013. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Thinking high school football: Top-10 area matchups of Week 1 of season," 26 June 2019 Kerr homered for the third time in the College World Series, this time after Vanderbilt pulled within one in the sixth inning, and the Wolverines beat the Commodores 7-4 in Game 1 of the best-of-three finals Monday night. Eric Olson,, "Michigan defeats Vanderbilt 7-4 in CWS Game 1," 25 June 2019

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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Statistics for final

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for final

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with final

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for final

Spanish Central: Translation of final

Nglish: Translation of final for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of final for Arabic Speakers

Comments on final

What made you want to look up final? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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