a person entitled to participate in the final or decisive contest in a series, as in musical or athletic competition.

Origin of finalist

First recorded in 1895–1900; final + -ist Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for finalist

Contemporary Examples of finalist

Historical Examples of finalist

  • Already the finalist theory of life eludes all precise verification.

    Creative Evolution

    Henri Bergson

  • This reason is a logical necessity, but the logical necessity does not prove the teleological or finalist necessity.

    Tragic Sense Of Life

    Miguel de Unamuno

  • The finalist or teleological conception is not any more tenable, for Evolution is not simply the realization of a plan.

British Dictionary definitions for finalist



a contestant who has reached the last and decisive stage of a sports or other competition
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for finalist

"competitor remaining after eliminations," 1898, from final + -ist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper