fi·​nal·​ize | \ ˈfī-nə-ˌlīz How to pronounce finalize (audio) \
finalized; finalizing

Definition of finalize

transitive verb

1 : to put in final or finished form soon my conclusion will be finalized— D. D. Eisenhower
2 : to give final approval to finalizing the papers prepared … by his staffNewsweek

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Other Words from finalize

finalization \ ˌfī-​nə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce finalization (audio) \ noun

Usage of Finalize

Finalize has been frequently castigated as an unnecessary neologism or as U.S. government gobbledygook. It appears to have first gained currency in Australia (where it has been acceptable all along) in the early 1920s. The U.S. Navy picked it up in the late 20s, and from there it came into widespread use. It is a standard formation (see -ize). Currently, it is most frequently used in government and business dealings; it usually is not found in belles-lettres.

Examples of finalize in a Sentence

They are finalizing their divorce this week. We bought our tickets and finalized our vacation plans.
Recent Examples on the Web Danville Chamber of Commerce executive director Kelly DiBenedetto said plans for a fireworks with food trucks prior to the show are in the works, but nothing has been finalized. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Fourth of July fireworks in Central Indiana? Here's what you need to know," 21 May 2020 While there are many options, nothing has been finalized, Richardson ISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone said in a recent video announcement. Teri Webster, Dallas News, "What will school look like in Richardson this fall?," 20 May 2020 As for a return to the field this year, no plans have been finalized. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, "Indy Eleven cut costs by furloughing some employees," 20 May 2020 Kelli Felker, global manufacturing and labor communications manager, declined to discuss the preliminary list other than to say it has not been finalized. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford summer shutdown schedule gives workers glimpse into future," 15 May 2020 The deal could be completed as soon as this month, though no agreement has been finalized and plans may change, the people said. Anto Antony,, "Asia’s Richest Man Courts Saudis, General Atlantic for Jio," 13 May 2020 Currently, the automaker said that the fix for the GT hasn’t been finalized. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "McLaren Recalls Senna, 720S, Other Cars over Fire Risk," 28 Apr. 2020 Officials said the inmate population may be reduced by placing individuals on electronic monitoring, but no plans have been finalized, as conversations with prosecutors continue. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: March 12-13," 24 Apr. 2020 The person described the proposal on the condition of anonymity because the draft had not been finalized. CBS News, "Coronavirus updates: U.S. death toll tops 14,000 as New York reports deadliest day," 8 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'finalize.' 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 finalize

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for finalize

final entry 1 + -ize

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Time Traveler for finalize

Time Traveler

The first known use of finalize was in 1875

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Statistics for finalize

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Finalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for finalize


How to pronounce finalize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of finalize

: to put (something, such as a plan or an agreement) in a final or finished form


fi·​nal·​ize | \ ˈfī-nə-ˌlīz How to pronounce finalize (audio) \
finalized; finalizing

Kids Definition of finalize

: to put in a final or finished form … Hermione ushered them out of the hall to finalize their plans for the evening.— J. K. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets

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