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

The final on a fumble recovered by Marcus Williamson. Stephen Means,, "What defenders stood out in Ohio State football’s shutout win over Cincinnati?," 8 Sep. 2019 Once again in a Grand Slam final, Williams, 37, faced an opponent who simply brought too much game. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, "Serena Williams Lost, but Her Legacy Is Winning," 8 Sep. 2019 During the second set of the women’s final on Saturday between Serena Williams, 37, and Bianca Andreescu, 19, of Canada, the crowd suddenly erupted in cheers as Williams was flailing, in a sort of desperate attempt to rescue her. Sean Gregory, Time, "Serena Williams Keeps Fighting, But Falls Short in Another Grand Slam," 8 Sep. 2019 The final rushing numbers don’t tell the full story. Matt Zenitz |, al, "Alabama running game remains work in progress," 8 Sep. 2019 Finn Wittrock plays her fifth, and final, husband, Mickey Deans. Mark Feeney,, "Fall movies 2019: Dozens of titles coming soon to theaters," 6 Sep. 2019 Williams will face Bianca Andreescu in the women's final on Saturday. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Is Flying to New York to Watch Serena Williams Play in the US Open," 6 Sep. 2019 Instead, Demone Harris beat out Spence for the final outside linebacker spot on the roster. Eduardo A. Encina,, "Bruce Arians on Bucs cutting Noah Spence: Playing time didn’t match preseason production," 4 Sep. 2019 On Tuesday, the special commission announced that this decision was final. Madeline Mitchell,, "Auditor's report on Pike County Sheriff: Gambling, seized cash and impounded vehicles," 3 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The 19-year-old Andreescu bested Caroline Wozniacki and Taylor Townsend in the tournament in order to advance to the finals against Williams. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Meghan Markle Showed Her Support for Serena Williams at the U.S. Open Because Game Recognizes Game," 7 Sep. 2019 One reason for the growth spurt was the Toronto Raptors, who bested the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals in June. Adam Rasmi, Quartz, "The Toronto Raptors helped Canada’s economy dunk on the US," 30 Aug. 2019 At the end, 10 acts will be put through to the finals. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Here's the Actual Reason Why 'AGT' Changed Its 2019 Schedule," 13 Aug. 2019 Check-Hers went 3-1 in its 2023 Star Fish Division and made it to the finals before being knocked out in the championship game. Mike Nortrup,, "Rec Sports Spotlight: Check-Hers 2023 ‘had a lot of fun’ during spring/summer lacrosse season," 27 July 2019 Of the 14 women who advanced to the finals seven have met that standard so far, including Ostrander, whose personal-best is a 9:31.44 registered in late June at the Prefontaine Classic. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska runner Allie Ostrander shines in her pro debut," 27 July 2019 The last thing the Colts need is a situation like Kevin Durant, who came back from a calf strain in the NBA finals and suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Andrew Luck sits out most of Colts' first training-camp practice," 25 July 2019 Kawhi Leonard is currently the game’s best player and 2019 NBA finals MVP. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Top 5 NBA duos: No. 1 Lakers' James-Davis, Nets' Durant-Irving, Clippers' Leonard-George?," 22 July 2019 The team also recently acquired all-star Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder and signed NBA finals MVP and champion Kawhi Leonard in free agency. Marcus Gutierrez, Houston Chronicle, "NBA star Patrick Beverley hosts skills camp at The Gym in Atascocita," 16 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

11 Sep 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 spread over or through

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