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 finalize (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 Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s Board of Control is set to meet Jan. 7 and 14 to finalize the details and framework of the winter sports season, which is slated to begin on Jan. 19. Shawn Mcfarland,, "CIAC executive director encouraged by recent COVID-19 numbers in Connecticut, as association’s board of control set to make decision on winter sports in coming weeks," 31 Dec. 2020 Negotiations to finalize the framework continued Tuesday. Andrew Duehren And Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "White House Makes Offer to Democrats of $916 Billion Covid-19 Relief Bill," 9 Dec. 2020 But holding the sale on Jan. 6 potentially gives the bureau opportunity to finalize the leases before Inauguration Day. New York Times, "Sale of Arctic Refuge Oil and Gas Leases Is Set for Early January," 3 Dec. 2020 In pushing its boundaries, China appears to have brushed aside decades of quiet and ultimately fruitless talks to finalize the two countries' border. Steven Lee Myers New York Times, Star Tribune, "China attempts to win Bhutan territorial dispute by simply moving homes in," 28 Nov. 2020 Earlier this year, the city hired engineering company AECOM to perform hydrological surveys and finalize details needed for the wall. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "For some Rocky Ripple residents, protecting the town from climate change comes at a price," 9 Nov. 2020 The use of the White House as a convention backdrop was unconventional and came as Trump and the Republican National Committee scrambled to finalize details after pulling the convention from Charlotte, N.C., overCOVID-19 restrictions. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "House GOP write letter to Amtrak CEO questioning Joe Biden's campaign train tour," 22 Oct. 2020 Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, traveled to El Salvador this week to finalize implementation plans for the agreement. Washington Post, "El Salvador ready to accept asylum seekers sent from U.S. border, DHS says," 15 Dec. 2020 Being cognizant of Native Americans’ connections with nature and the environment, Cid recently finished discussions with Native American climate and energy experts, education experts and students to finalize another article on diversity., "Community News For The Windham Edition," 4 Dec. 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

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Finalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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