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

In his final 10 appearances for the Mud Hens, Schreiber posted a 1.64 ERA and struck out 12 batters over 11 innings. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "How John Schreiber made it from Rockwood to CoPa: “The kid does things the right way”," 11 Aug. 2019 Shari Redstone, whose family investment vehicle National Amusements controls both companies, could become chairman of the combined entity, the people said, adding that no final decision has been made. Washington Post, "Malaysia charges Goldman executives," 10 Aug. 2019 Tottenham employed a similar strategy, which allowed them to punch above their limited financial weight—including an unexpected run to the final of the Champions League last season. M.j., The Economist, "Man City’s and Liverpool’s rivals have copied their transfer strategy," 10 Aug. 2019 Shari Redstone, whose family investment vehicle National Amusements Inc. controls both companies, could become chairman of the combined entity, the people said, adding that no final decision has been made. Gerry Smith,, "CBS and Viacom near merger after agreeing on board," 9 Aug. 2019 But Oxy put off any final decision while the deal was pending for Anadarko, which owned the largest corporate campus in The Woodlands area. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Oxy completes $38B acquisition of Anadarko to close mega deal," 8 Aug. 2019 The Puerto Rico Senate met in a special session on Monday but did not to vote either to support or to censure Mr. Pierluisi’s installation, leaving the final decision to the high court. New York Times, "The Puerto Rico Governor Started 3 Days Ago. But His Future Is Already in Doubt.," 5 Aug. 2019 Some think the government’s move may be challenged and end up with the nation’s Supreme Court for a final decision. Alex Ward, Vox, "India’s risky Kashmir power grab, explained," 5 Aug. 2019 But her ex-husband, Faisal Al Namani, invoked Emirati law that gives the father the final say on the children’s travel, despite the award of full custody to Watson. Josh Kovner,, "Glastonbury mom wins custody case in UAE, returning home with her children after victory in Abu Dhabi courtroom," 5 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Davenport reached the finals of the log rolling competition at the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wis., before losing to defending champion Livi Pappadopoulos. Bob Sansevere, Twin Cities, "Scoliosis has never kept champion log roller Ellie Davenport down," 9 Aug. 2019 Londero has reached two ATP finals this season, winning his first career title at Cordoba in February then finishing as runner-up in Bastad last month. Adam Baum,, "Andy Murray confirms he'll return to singles at Western and Southern Open," 9 Aug. 2019 Fitzsimmons was a head coach for parts of 21 NBA seasons, won one division title, and never reached the finals. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Denny Crum is headed back to the Hall of Fame, and the bench, but not how you'd expect," 8 Aug. 2019 Her time with Chelsea has yielded three WSL titles and two FA Cups, while the club has also twice reached the Champions League semi finals., "Chelsea Women Midfielder Ji So-yun Signs New 3-Year Contract With Club Until 2022," 7 Aug. 2019 Remarkably, as recently as two years ago, Williams was reaching Grand Slam finals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Bruce Jenkins,, "For Venus, bowing out early, it’s about the memories," 31 July 2019 To reach the world finals, the team had to go through several competitions. Giulia Mcdonnell Nieto Del Rio,, "Latino could help conquer climate change," 16 July 2019 Kelan Martin, Minnesota — 12.9 ppg, 1.0 apg, 6.6 rpg The former Butler star had a standout Summer League performance, helping the Timberwolves reach the finals. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "Kyle Guy, Carsen Edwards, Kelan Martin impress in NBA Summer League," 16 July 2019 To reach the world finals, the team had to go through several competitions. Los Angeles Times, "L.A. Latino students take prize in Prague, could help conquer climate change," 15 July 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

14 Aug 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

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of or relating to the heavens

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