fi·​nal·​ist | \ ˈfī-nə-list How to pronounce finalist (audio) \

Definition of finalist

: a contestant in a competition finals

Examples of finalist in a Sentence

They interviewed all of the finalists before making a decision. a finalist in the tennis tournament

Recent Examples on the Web

From the pool of applicants, 10 finalists will be selected to compete for a $400,000 grand prize and two $150,000 runner-up prizes, plus a year of mentorship from fashion industry insiders. Vogue, "Are You the Next Big Thing in Fashion? Apply for the 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund," 15 Mar. 2019 The finalists will be chosen on February 4, and the winner will be chosen on February 11. Maddie Hiatt, House Beautiful, "You Can Win a Free Home Consult With Marie Kondo via Netflix," 30 Jan. 2019 Submissions came from film schools in 35 countries across the world, from which nine finalists have been chosen. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, "Justin Simien Among Jurors for BAFTA Student Film Awards," 26 June 2018 Recipe finalists were selected and prepared by the instructors and students. Daniel Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Burgers with pizzazz: Surf 'n' turf burger judged best in annual BBQ contest," 18 June 2018 Five finalists out of 126 artists who competed to contribute to the memorial were also announced in the statement. Elise Takahama,, "City reveals plans for Boston’s memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King," 8 June 2018 National Book Critics Circle board member Mary Ann Gwinn shares three of her favorite finalists from 2018. Mary Ann Gwinn, The Seattle Times, "A closer look at three National Book Critics Circle finalists," 20 Feb. 2019 Amazon listed Newark, New Jersey, in addition to New York City itself, among its 20 finalists—a sign that the New York area was also getting serious consideration. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Amazon is getting more than $2 billion for NYC and Virginia expansions," 13 Nov. 2018 When Robinson was a senior at Kenwood, Valparaiso was one of his announced five finalists, along with Missouri-Kansas City, Indiana State, Illinois-Chicago and DePaul. Michael Osipoff, Post-Tribune, "Nick's pick: Chicago Kenwood graduate Nick Robinson transfers to Valparaiso from St. Joseph's," 7 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'finalist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of finalist

1898, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for finalist

final entry 1 + -ist entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about finalist

Dictionary Entries near finalist







final process

Statistics for finalist

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for finalist

The first known use of finalist was in 1898

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for finalist



English Language Learners Definition of finalist

: a person who competes in the last part of a competition

More from Merriam-Webster on finalist

Spanish Central: Translation of finalist

Nglish: Translation of finalist for Spanish Speakers

Comments on finalist

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


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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