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 After allowing an average of 23.0 points per game in posting a 4-7 record, the Colts surrendered just 9.8 in winning the final five games, all by 6 points or fewer and without scoring more than 21 points. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, "Ranking every Indianapolis Colts team: Nos. 16-20, disappointments and false promise," 9 July 2020 Of course, that means the back end of the schedule is friendlier, with 13 of the final 22 games at home, finishing with the Rockies and Padres. John Shea,, "Giants’ 2020 schedule: Five things to watch," 6 July 2020 He was suspended for the final six games after his brawl in Pittsburgh with Steelers QB Mason Rudolph. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "NFL’s next richest defensive player? That could be Myles Garrett with Cleveland Browns – Terry Pluto," 5 July 2020 The Celtics are in third place in the East and unlikely to catch Toronto for second place in the final eight seeding games before the playoffs. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Boston Celtics' Gordon Hayward will leave NBA bubble if his wife goes into labor during playoffs," 4 July 2020 More information will be provided, once the organizers have made final decisions. Ian Mckenzie, The Enquirer, "WEBN firework display at Riverfest is sill up for debate this year," 2 July 2020 Rookie Drew Lock took over as the starting quarterback last season when Denver had a 3-8 record and helped the Broncos win four of their final five games. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Jerry Jeudy, Darius Slayton mixing offseason quarterbacks," 28 June 2020 The inquiry is continuing and no final decisions have been made about whether to bring a case. Mark Gurman,, "Apple’s App Store Rules Scrutinized in U.S. Antitrust Probe," 27 June 2020 The Cardinals ran for more than 200 yards three times last season, and twice in the final three games of the year. Katherine Fitzgerald, The Arizona Republic, "Cardinals OL Mason Cole ready to start at center, expecting big jump from Kyler Murray," 22 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Friday marks four years since Portugal's 1-0 victory over France in the final of the Euros. George Ramsay, CNN, "How Portugal lost Cristiano Ronaldo and learned to 'suffer' before winning Euro 2016," 10 July 2020 Hargrove-Mundy had a 27-yard fumble return touchdown in La Salle's first-round playoff victory Little Miami and intercepted a pass in the regional final against Harrison. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, "La Salle 2021 defensive back Jaymar Hargrove-Mundy commits to Miami Redhawks football," 1 July 2020 Lavelle scored the team's second goal during USWNT's win in the final against the Netherlands, earning the Bronze Ball - given to the tournament's third-most outstanding player. Dave Clark, The Enquirer, "Watch: Rose Lavelle's goal helps Washington Spirit to 2-1 win in NWSL Challenge Cup," 29 June 2020 Plano fell one step short of the state tournament in 2014, losing to Humble Atascocita in a regional final. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "Longtime Plano baseball coach Rick Robertson retires with nearly 600 career wins," 16 June 2020 Jeffersonville lost in the regional final to Bedford in 1941, ’42 and ’43. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, "Gary Roosevelt, New Castle, Washington, Jeffersonville reach Build-A-Team Final Four," 8 June 2020 This past season King and Hamilton played twice with King winning both games and eliminating the Chargers in a Division 1 regional final. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After leading King's girls basketball team to nine City Conference championships, Craig Machut heads to Sussex Hamilton," 2 June 2020 In 1993, the state finals were canceled due to inclement weather, but widespread criticism statewide caused the meet to be revived and took place two weeks later. Eric Sondheimercolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "CIF announces high school spring sports season is canceled," 3 Apr. 2020 The state baseball finals were scheduled to be held May 11-16 in Montgomery. Ben Thomas |, al, "Mobile Christian baseball team facing second straight abrupt end to season," 16 Mar. 2020

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

12 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Final.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with final

Spanish Central: Translation of final

Nglish: Translation of final for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of final for Arabic Speakers

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