final

1 of 2

adjective

fi·​nal ˈfī-nᵊl How to pronounce final (audio)
1
a
: 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

final

2 of 2

noun

: 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

Example Sentences

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 Fever will play 11 of its final 15 games at home. Matthew Vantryon, The Indianapolis Star, 1 Dec. 2022 And after the game in the postgame locker room at State Farm Stadium and inside meeting rooms at the team's Tempe facility, a conciliatory tone is taken, one of continuing to play hard over the season's final five games. José M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, 1 Dec. 2022 Their final five games after tonight look like this: Arizona, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Miami and Buffalo. Doug Ziefel, Chicago Tribune, 1 Dec. 2022 After Harsin was fired on Oct. 31, along with several other assistants and staff members including offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Eric Kiesau, Hartline was promoted to quarterbacks coach for Auburn’s final four games of the season. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, 30 Nov. 2022 Leonhard has served as UW’s defensive coordinator since 2017 and was the interim head coach for the final seven games of the regular season this year. Jeff Potrykus, Journal Sentinel, 30 Nov. 2022 The Beavers are hot, having won six of their final seven games. oregonlive, 29 Nov. 2022 How much pressure is on Stefanski over these final six games? Dan Labbe, cleveland, 29 Nov. 2022 After the shooting, the Cavaliers decided to skip the final two football games of the 2022 season. CBS News, 29 Nov. 2022
Noun
United later beat Chelsea in the final to become European champion. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 27 Nov. 2022 Alternatively, Kyrgios might have learned something from Elena Rybakina, who defeated Jabeur in the final on Saturday, in three sets. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 11 July 2022 In the 2020 Eastern Conference final, Buksa drilled a breakaway off the post in the first half of a 1-0 loss to the Columbus Crew and last year had his attempt saved in a penalty kicks defeat to New York City FC. Frank Dell'apa, BostonGlobe.com, 6 June 2022 Deubel and Brandel scored a 6-1, 6-2 win over Vilwock and Baldwin in the final to finish the season 22-2. Mark Stewart, Journal Sentinel, 5 June 2022 The 4x100 ran a 48.37 in the final to finish as regional champs, while the 4x200 finished as runners-up with a 1:42.34. Jonathan X. Simmons, cleveland, 31 May 2022 After beating Nadal in the semifinals last year, Djokovic erased a two-set deficit and beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final to win his second French Open title. New York Times, 29 May 2022 In the City Section Open Division final, Palisades knocked off defending champion Chatsworth 3-1. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2022 Nadal then lost in the final to Taylor Fritz in two sets Sunday. San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Mar. 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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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.

Noun

derivative of final entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Noun

1609, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near final

Cite this Entry

“Final.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/final. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

final

1 of 2 adjective
fi·​nal ˈfīn-ᵊl How to pronounce final (audio)
1
: not to be changed or undone
my final offer
2
: relating to or occurring at the end or conclusion : ultimate
the final act of the play
finally adverb

final

2 of 2 noun
: something final: as
a
: the last match or game of a tournament
usually used in plural
b
: the last examination in a course
often used in plural

Legal Definition

final

adjective
fi·​nal
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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ