fi·​nal·​ist ˈfī-nə-list How to pronounce finalist (audio)
: a contestant in a competition finals

Example Sentences

They interviewed all of the finalists before making a decision. a finalist in the tennis tournament
Recent Examples on the Web Larry Boone, former police chief in Norfolk, Virginia, is the only Black finalist. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 29 Nov. 2022 But Sasse has faced heavy opposition from students who protested his selection by UF trustees as the sole finalist for the job last month. Ryan Dailey, Orlando Sentinel, 9 Nov. 2022 The Final Four drivers are Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, Ty Gibbs and Noah Gragson, who is the only repeat finalist. Mark Faller, The Arizona Republic, 1 Nov. 2022 Nashville was the other finalist, and could still be selected by the full RNC. Bill Glauber, Journal Sentinel, 15 July 2022 The publication received 11 national magazine awards and was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times during her tenure. Caitlin Huston, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Nov. 2022 During her eight-year tenure, National Geographic won 11 National Magazine Awards and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times. Larry Edelman,, 21 Nov. 2022 The loser might still be a finalist, but almost certainly can’t win. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 18 Nov. 2022 Cy Young awards are announced; Ohtani finished fourth in Cy Young voting and is a finalist for MVP. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1898, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of finalist was in 1898

Dictionary Entries Near finalist

Cite this Entry

“Finalist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


fi·​nal·​ist ˈfīn-ᵊl-əst How to pronounce finalist (audio)
: a contestant in the finals of a competition

More from Merriam-Webster on finalist

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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