photo finish


Definition of photo finish

1 : a race or finish in which contestants are so close that a photograph of them as they cross the finish line has to be examined to determine the winner
2 : a close contest

Examples of photo finish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dana went on to edge Rafter, the two-time defending conference champion, in a photo finish to win the title in 17 minutes, 35.5 seconds. Lori Riley,, "CCSU, UConn runners to compete in NCAA cross country championships," 14 Mar. 2021 Patterson, a 29-year-old who trains at Alaska Pacific University, lost a photo finish for 13th place and was three seconds out of the top 10. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "2 Alaskans ski into men’s top 20 at world cross-country championships," 28 Feb. 2021 The last two times second off the bench saw the best races of this horse’s career -- losing a photo finish and winning. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Horse racing newsletter: It’s Kentucky Derby rankings time," 26 Feb. 2021 Proxy beat our Mandaloun in a photo finish for second. Darrell Williams,, "Midnight Bourbon wins Lecomte Stakes, first test for Kentucky Derby hopefuls," 16 Jan. 2021 Evelynn Carr has a photo finish as Wild stormed from the behind to beat Carr in the final 10 meters. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, "Brophy wins Division I boys state title, Salpointe Catholic boys and girls sweeps Division III," 12 Nov. 2020 This past weekend’s box office was a real photo finish. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Theaters Needed James Bond to Rescue Them. Now What?," 6 Oct. 2020 And the 2019 playoff race, the 500, which took place over two days on Oct. 13-14 following a postponement because of rain, resulted in three major multi-car crashes and a win by Ryan Blaney in a photo finish. Ellen J. Horrow, USA TODAY, "Watch: Wild and memorable NASCAR crashes at Talladega Superspeedway," 4 Oct. 2020 Swiss Skydiver became the sixth filly to win the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, capping the 2020 Triple Crown by outrunning Kentucky Derby winner Authentic down the stretch in a photo finish at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Preakness Stakes 2020: Results, payouts, order of finish," 3 Oct. 2020

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

1935, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for photo finish

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The first known use of photo finish was in 1935

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Statistics for photo finish

Last Updated

21 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Photo finish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for photo finish

photo finish


English Language Learners Definition of photo finish

: a finish in a race in which the racers are so close that the judges have to look at a photograph of the racers crossing the finish line to see who has won

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for photo finish

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