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

transitive verb

: to put in final or finished form
soon my conclusion will be finalizedD. D. Eisenhower
: to give final approval to
finalizing the papers prepared … by his staffNewsweek
finalization 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 Teamsters union, for instance, which recently finalized a new contract with Cal State, has a me-too provision. Caroline Petrow-Cohen, Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2024 The Department of Education has been revising the proposal over a series of rulemaking sessions, a process that could take months and will likely be subject to conservative legal challenges once it’s finalized. Sara Dorn, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 The Fort Worth Independent School District focused its layoffs this week on its technology division, a move described as unfortunate but necessary amid budget constraints that was finalized by the Board of Education on Tuesday. Lina Ruiz, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 Many believe that only U.S. recognition of a Palestinian state at the beginning of the process, even one whose final borders and institutions are not yet finalized, could convince the Arab world that this time will be different. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 One of the main things to stay relevant is to finalize your plans, not leave them halfway. Tere Aguilera, Billboard, 13 Feb. 2024 Lane said staff will finalize the transportation letter, bringing it back to commissioners for their approval in early March, and to the state on April 1. Sherry Greenfield, Baltimore Sun, 10 Feb. 2024 First, the European Union finalized its AI Act to govern the development and deployment of AI systems. IEEE Spectrum, 8 Feb. 2024 In December, the ITC imposed a ban on the Series 9 and Ultra 2 models of the Apple Watch after finalizing its decision that the blood oxygen sensors in the devices did indeed infringe on patents owned by Masimo and its subsidiary Cercacor Laboratories. TIME, 8 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'finalize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


final entry 1 + -ize

First Known Use

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of finalize was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near finalize

Cite this Entry

“Finalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


fi·​nal·​ize ˈfīn-ᵊl-īz How to pronounce finalize (audio)
finalized; finalizing
: to put in final or finished form

More from Merriam-Webster on finalize

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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