fi·​nal | \ ˈfī-nᵊl How to pronounce final (audio) \

Definition of final

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : not to be altered or undone all sales are final
b : of or relating to a concluding court action or proceeding final decree
2 : coming at the end : being the last in a series, process, or progress the final chapter final exams
3 : of or relating to the ultimate purpose or result of a process our final goal the final product



Definition of final (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is final: such as
a : a deciding match, game, heat, or trial usually used in plural
b : the last examination in a course often used in plural

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Choose the Right Synonym for final


last, final, terminal, ultimate mean following all others (as in time, order, or importance). last applies to something that comes at the end of a series but does not always imply that the series is completed or stopped. last page of a book last news we had of him final applies to that which definitely closes a series, process, or progress. final day of school terminal may indicate a limit of extension, growth, or development. terminal phase of a disease ultimate implies the last degree or stage of a long process beyond which further progress or change is impossible. the ultimate collapse of the system

Examples of final in a Sentence

Adjective the final act of the play They won their final four games. in the final minutes of the game Our last stop was Bangkok, but our final destination is Tokyo. The plans are undergoing final review. What was the final score? The final product was not what we had expected. Noun He failed his history finals. He failed his history final.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Josie Trabel, East Central The freshman scored 19 points in the sectional final to help the Trojans beat Columbus East and win the program's first title since 1992. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "Vote for the top girls basketball performers from sectionals," 10 Feb. 2020 At a rally Saturday in the historic Rex Theater in downtown Manchester, Biden was at times a poignant figure, at 77 and after a lifetime in politics making his third and presumably final bid for the White House. Susan Page, USA TODAY, "'Stakes are incredibly high': New Hampshire voters feel the pressure as primary looms," 9 Feb. 2020 Salem outscored Charlestown 14-5 over the final 4:59 of the first half to take a 29-13 lead into the break. Nate Bryan, The Courier-Journal, "Silver Creek rolls into sectional final, beats Madison behind Alana Striverson's big game," 8 Feb. 2020 The team won the Rio state championship, its first Brazilian national league championship since 2009 and the prestigious Copa Libertadores in a nail-biting final against Argentina’s River Plate. Washington Post, "Top Brazilian soccer club struggles to get past deadly fire," 8 Feb. 2020 In other precincts, viable candidates lost votes from the first alignment tally to the final, which is also inconsistent with party rules. Anchorage Daily News, "DNC chair calls for ‘recanvass’ of Iowa results after delays," 7 Feb. 2020 The final destination for the two evacuation flights will be the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego and the Eppley Airfield in Omaha. Faith Karimi And Sarah Moon, CNN, "Quarantines, more infections and everything else you need to know about coronavirus in the US this week," 7 Feb. 2020 This followed some additional questioning of Lauren Young, an actress and model who on Wednesday became the sixth and final accuser to testify in the trial, alleging Weinstein in 2013 groped her in a hotel bathroom. TheWeek, "Prosecutors rest their case against Harvey Weinstein following testimony from final accuser," 6 Feb. 2020 The men’s basketball team posted its second straight season with at least 20 wins in the 2018-19 season, while its women’s basketball team advanced to the final of the Women’s Basketball Invitational. Brett Vito, Denton Record-Chronicle, "UNT athletic department hits key milestone by finishing with budget surplus," 6 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After thrilling upsets in last week's semi-finals, Hamilton and Chaparral will face off Saturday night for the AHSHA Division 1 state title game at 8 p.m. at the Ice Den Scottsdale. Jesse Morrison, azcentral, "Hamilton vs. Chaparral headline Arizona high school hockey title games," 8 Feb. 2020 Robinson, a first-team All-Ohio selection in the fall and a third-team pick in 2018, was named the Columbus Dispatch’s defensive player of the year in December after leading his school to a 10-3 record and a regional final. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football signs 2 more for 2020 class while recruiting, program enter limbo," 5 Feb. 2020 Muguruza has been in three previous Grand Slam finals, winning two of them at Roland Garros (2016) and Wimbledon (2017), while the American had been beyond the third round only once — beating Serena Williams at last year’s French Open. NBC News, "'I'm on cloud nine': U.S. tennis star Sofia Kenin wins Australian Open," 1 Feb. 2020 Coach of the Year: Stacey Williams, Monroe Williams, the SWBL’s Coach of the Year, led the Hornets to a district championship and a trip to a regional final. James Weber,, "2019 Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky high school Fall All-Stars," 29 Jan. 2020 The top eight competitors from each game will advance to the semi-finals. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Complexity announces ‘esports triathlon’ for graduating Frisco ISD students, esports 101 class for parents," 21 Jan. 2020 His run came to a halt at the semi-finals of the NBC show, but the fun didn't stop there. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Luke Islam Sends Crowd Into a Frenzy With 'Ashes' Cover on 'AGT: The Champions': Watch," 14 Jan. 2020 The semi-finals are conducted in similar fashion to the average sporting event bracket. Emily Price, Fortune, "This High-Speed, All-Female Bartending Competition Has Raised Over $1 Million to Fight Breast Cancer," 22 Dec. 2019 Murray is also the only member of the big four who has a losing record in grand-slam finals. Kevin Craft, The Atlantic, "Rafael Nadal Takes Another Step Toward Tennis History," 9 Sep. 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1609, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for final


Middle English, "pertaining to an end or conclusion, effecting a close, ultimate, conclusive," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin fīnālis "last, at the end, ultimate," going back to Latin, "of boundaries," from fīnis "boundary, limit, terminal point, ending" (of uncertain origin) + -ālis -al entry 1

Note: According to an older hypothesis, fīnis goes back to *fig-sn-is, a derivative from the base of fīgere "to drive in, insert, fasten" (see fix entry 1), assuming that the word originally referred to some sort of boundary marker fixed to a tree or driven into the ground. A more recent suggestion sees fīnis going back to *bhiH-n-i, a derivative of an Indo-European verbal base *bhei̯H- "strike, break," seen also in an o-grade derivative *bhoi̯H-n-o-, whence Germanic *baina- "bone" and "straight" (in Old Norse beinn "straight"; (see bone entry 1); in this case fīnis would have referred originally to an upright branch or stake used to mark boundaries. Both hypotheses are in the end speculative, as the semantic prehistory of fīnis in Latin is unknown.


derivative of final entry 1

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Time Traveler for final

Time Traveler

The first known use of final was in the 14th century

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Statistics for final

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Final.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for final



English Language Learners Definition of final

: the last competition (such as a game or race) or set of competitions in a series
: the examinations that happen at the end of a class, term, or course of study
US : an examination at the end of a class


fi·​nal | \ ˈfī-nᵊl How to pronounce final (audio) \

Kids Definition of final

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : coming or happening at the end final exams
2 : not to be changed The decision of the judges is final.

Other Words from final

finally adverb



Kids Definition of final (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the last match or game of a tournament
2 : a final examination in a course



Legal Definition of final

1 : ending a court action or proceeding leaving nothing further to be determined by the court or to be done except execution of the judgment but not precluding appeal used of an order, decision, judgment, decree, determination, or sentence — see also finality, final judgment rule — compare interlocutory
2 : being a decision that precludes the right to appeal or to continue a case in any other court upon the merits: as
a : being a decision for which availability of appeal has been exhausted and concerning which a writ of certiorari has been denied or the time to petition for certiorari has expired
b : being a decision of the Supreme Court of the U.S. that terminates the litigation between parties on the merits and leaves nothing for the lower court to do in case of an affirmance except to execute the judgment
3 : being the last in a series, process, or progress a final payment

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More from Merriam-Webster on final

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for final

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with final

Spanish Central: Translation of final

Nglish: Translation of final for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of final for Arabic Speakers

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