last word


Definition of last word

1 : the final remark in a verbal exchange
2a : the power of final decision
b : a definitive statement or treatment this study will surely be the last word on the subject for many years
3 : the most advanced, up-to-date, or fashionable exemplar of its kind the last word in sports cars

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Examples of last word in a Sentence

a swimsuit that is the last word in sportswear this season

Recent Examples on the Web

Taken together, these three biographies illustrate the complexities of Frederick Douglass and suggest that the last word on the 19th-century’s most famous African-American is still to be written. —Mr. WSJ, "Who Read What in 2018: History and Journalism," 10 Dec. 2018 When questioned on both topics, Kavanaugh repeatedly referenced specific decisions as the legal last word on the subjects—even though there were more recent cases expanding or clarifying the Court’s opinion on them. Megan Angelo, Glamour, "The Kavanaugh Hearings, Day 4: 7 Unanswered Questions We Still Have About Brett Kavanaugh," 7 Sep. 2018 Bateman — always needing to have the last word, that Michael! — doubles down. Anna Silman, The Cut, "The Arrested Development Cast Just Gave One of the Most Uncomfortable Interviews Ever," 23 May 2018 Just like in 1991, a man got the last wordIn her negotiations with senators over Thursday’s hearing, Ford had asked to testify after Kavanaugh. Anna North, Vox, "The Republicans on the committee attempted to change the optics for this hearing, but don’t be fooled.," 27 Sep. 2018 The last words of Corey Jones reverberated across a courtroom Monday as the officer who shot him dead in 2015 tried to get his criminal charges dismissed. Marc Freeman,, "Corey Jones shooting: Audio recording disputed in ex-cop's 'stand your ground' claim," 7 May 2018 Full House's Danny Tanner, beloved by '90s kids everywhere, was also a master of the end-of-episode lesson; a weird way of subtly saying that the wise dad always gets the last word. Jean Bentley, Redbook, "Stop Praising TV Dads for Doing the Bare Minimum," 14 Apr. 2017 John Fair Castlebar, Ireland Unfortunately, the classy Ms. Osaka will not have the last word. WSJ, "Serena Advanced Neither Women’s Rights Nor Herself," 17 Sep. 2018 The letters won’t be his last words, either, Marquardt said, because Ramos will have his day in court. Reis Thebault, Washington Post, "Jarrod Ramos’s name was on letter laying out “the objective of killing every person present” at Capital Gazette," 3 July 2018

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

1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

28 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for last word

The first known use of last word was in 1509

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with last word

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What made you want to look up last word? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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