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 The interactive map is regularly updated but should be finalized shortly after Feb. 21, when store registration ends. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Find Joanna Gaines-worthy items during the Vintage Shop Hop in Wisconsin and Illinois," 31 Jan. 2020 Following his request for a policy, the council held a few workshops to review draft policies and finalized their recommendations in November. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "New Glendale policy aims to prevent secrecy when council prepares to sell city land," 24 Jan. 2020 Mike and Lori Lind plan to retire when their company’s sale to Just Inc. is finalized at the end of this year. Dan Gunderson, Twin Cities, "Egg replacement tech puts western Minnesota on protein map," 28 Dec. 2019 This Christmas marked the second holiday since the exes finalized a custody agreement in November. Karen Mizoguchi,, "Southern Charm's Kathryn Dennis and Ex Thomas Ravenel Reunite for Christmas with Their Kids," 26 Dec. 2019 Last spring, there was a meeting where officials finalized plans for the park’s memorial. Keith Bierygolick,, "'I don't understand why they did this': How a Cincinnati beer club saved a park - and honored a neighborhood hero," 24 Dec. 2019 The 13-year-old is being held at a juvenile detention facility and will appear back in court on Tuesday and charges will be finalized at a later hearing, per the AP. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, "A Barnard Student's Stabbing Death Has Rattled NYC and a 13-Year-Old Is in Custody. Here's What to Know," 14 Dec. 2019 On October 27, 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte rode through Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, finalizing his defeat of the hundreds of principalities and territories that, until a few months before, had made up the Holy Roman Empire. Adrian Daub, Longreads, "All Hail the Rat King," 13 Dec. 2019 According to The Athletic, the two sides are in talks on a multi-year deal that could be finalized this week, as the baseball world is in Jones’ native San Diego for the annual winter meetings. Jon Meoli,, "Former Oriole Adam Jones could play in Japan in 2020, per reports; O’s claim pitcher Marcos Diplán off waivers," 9 Dec. 2019

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

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Finalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 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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