fin·​ish | \ ˈfi-nish How to pronounce finish (audio) \
finished; finishing; finishes

Definition of finish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to come to an end : terminate The meeting finished at noon.
2a : to come to the end of a course, task, or undertaking I shall finish with a Chopin nocturne— Lillian Hellman
b : to end relations used with with decided to finish with him for good
3 : to end a competition in a specified manner or position finished third in the race

transitive verb

1a : to bring to an end : terminate finished the speech and sat down
b : to use or dispose of entirely her sandwich finished the loaf
2a : to bring to completion or issue hope to finish their new home before winter
b : to provide with a finish especially : to put a final coat or surface on finish a table with varnish
3a : to defeat or ruin utterly and finally the scandal finished his career
b : to bring about the death of usually used with off The gladiator finished off his opponent.



Definition of finish (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that completes or perfects: such as
a : the fine or decorative work required for a building or one of its parts
b : a finishing material used in painting
c : the final treatment or coating of a surface
d : the taste in the mouth after swallowing a beverage (such as wine)
2a : final stage : end
b : the cause of one's ruin
3 : the result or product of a finishing process a glossy finish
4 : the quality or state of being perfected

Other Words from finish


finisher noun

Choose the Right Synonym for finish


close, end, conclude, finish, complete, terminate mean to bring or come to a stopping point or limit. close usually implies that something has been in some way open as well as unfinished. close a debate end conveys a strong sense of finality. ended his life conclude may imply a formal closing (as of a meeting). the service concluded with a blessing finish may stress completion of a final step in a process. after it is painted, the house will be finished complete implies the removal of all deficiencies or a successful finishing of what has been undertaken. the resolving of this last issue completes the agreement terminate implies the setting of a limit in time or space. your employment terminates after three months

Examples of finish in a Sentence

Verb You can't watch TV until you finish your homework. He started his homework two hours ago and he still hasn't finished. They hope to finish their new home by winter. They're building a new home and they hope to finish by winter. The chairman finished the meeting at noon. The meeting finished on a positive note. Noun a suspense film with a perfect surprise finish The table had a shiny finish. I need to put one more coat of finish on the chair. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After a drop, Rahm was able to make the green on his next shot and went on to birdie the hole to finish his round with a 1-under 69. Globe Staff,, 16 June 2022 Dress tacos with a bit more dressing and finish with a few drops of hot sauce, a sprinkle of cotija cheese and a sprinkle of chile piquin powder. Kathleen Squires, WSJ, 16 June 2022 However, the new offices have taken longer to finish than expected, and Disney anticipates an opening date of 2026, representing a roughly three-year delay. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 15 June 2022 Huff also had an RBI double to finish the day 3 for 4 with five RBIs. oregonlive, 13 June 2022 Those improvements on that end of the court helped the Cavaliers finish with a record of 44-38, doubling their win total from the season prior, and reach the Eastern Conference play-in tournament. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 13 June 2022 Senior Neil Zhu led the way for DCC , shooting a 145 over the two days to finish tied for fourth. Mason Young, Detroit Free Press, 12 June 2022 Ballard is one win away from becoming the third softball program in state history to finish with a perfect season. Jonathan Saxon, The Courier-Journal, 12 June 2022 Offensively, Crockett got her production with a combination of outside shooting — something Indiana needed badly — and drives to the basket, at one point attacking Merkle off the dribble for a reverse layup to finish with a team-leading 22 points. Wilson Moore, The Indianapolis Star, 12 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun More than 150 Women Builders contributed time and talent this year to complete finish work on six new homes in National City. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 June 2022 After a bronze medal finish at the 2011 world championship, Harrison became the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in judo in 2012. Brendan Connelly, The Enquirer, 18 June 2022 The pigment just glides onto my lips, leaving them with a matte, but never dry finish. Angela Trakoshis, Allure, 17 June 2022 Gregait saw 2019 come to a sudden finish on July 5, when his car was badly damaged in a feature race wreck. Tony Baranek, Chicago Tribune, 17 June 2022 The Saints lost their next five games on the way to a 9-8 finish. Mark Inabinett |, al, 17 June 2022 The Jets, without a playoff appearance since 2010, struggled to a lowly 2-14 finish, but Becton gave up just seven sacks and earned a Pro Football Focus grade of 74.4. Jeremiah Holloway, The Courier-Journal, 17 June 2022 Get a satin finish with this rich and creamy formula. Daisy Maldonado, SELF, 16 June 2022 After struggling to a surprising last place finish in 2021, the Twins are back atop the AL Central this year. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 16 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'finish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of finish


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


1779, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for finish


Middle English finisshen, borrowed from Anglo-French finiss-, stem of finir, going back to Latlin fīnīre "to mark out the boundaries, limit, put an end to, bring to a close," derivative of fīnis "boundary, limit, ending" — more at final entry 1


derivative of finish entry 1

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Time Traveler for finish

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

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Dictionary Entries Near finish

finis coronat opus



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Statistics for finish

Last Updated

21 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Finish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for finish


fin·​ish | \ ˈfi-nish How to pronounce finish (audio) \
finished; finishing

Kids Definition of finish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to bring or come to an end : complete
2 : to use up completely I finished the pie.
3 : to end a competition in a certain position I finished third in the race.
4 : to put a final coat or surface on He finished the wood table with varnish.



Kids Definition of finish (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : end entry 1 sense 2, conclusion The race had a close finish.
2 : the final treatment or coating of a surface or the appearance given by such a treatment The table has a shiny finish.

More from Merriam-Webster on finish

Nglish: Translation of finish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of finish for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about finish


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