See more synonyms for final on
  1. pertaining to or coming at the end; last in place, order, or time: the final meeting of the year.
  2. ultimate: The final goal is world peace.
  3. conclusive or decisive: a final decision.
  4. constituting the end or purpose: a final result.
  5. pertaining to or expressing the end or purpose: a final clause.
  6. Law.
    1. precluding further controversy on the questions passed upon: The judicial determination of the Supreme Court is final.
    2. determining all issues presented, so that no further decision upon the merits of the issues is necessary: a final judgment or decree.
  7. Phonetics. occurring at the end of a word or syllable, as the (t) sound in bit or bite.
  1. that which is last; that which forms an end or termination.
  2. Often finals.
    1. the last and decisive game, match, contest, or round in a series, as in sports.
    2. the last, usually comprehensive, examination in a course of study.
  3. the last edition of a newspaper published on any day.
  4. Music. the tonic note of a church mode.

Origin of final

1300–50; 1915–20 for def 10; Middle English < Latin fīnālis, equivalent to fīn(is) end + -ālis -al1
Related formspseu·do·fi·nal, adjectivepseu·do·fi·nal·ly, adverbqua·si-fi·nal, adjective

Synonyms for final

See more synonyms for on
1. See last1. 3. definite, irrevocable, irreversible, unalterable.

Antonyms for final Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for finals

Contemporary Examples of finals

Historical Examples of finals

  • Among the three who had reached the finals was their guest of the previous evening.

    The Highgrader

    William MacLeod Raine

  • The other two riders who had reached the finals were both experts in the saddle.

    The Highgrader

    William MacLeod Raine

  • Every week my finals and initials are held in many large towns.

  • My initials form a country in Europe, and my finals one of its lakes.

  • If I passed with higher credit in the preliminaries than in the finals, there are two reasons.

    Story of My Life

    Helen Keller

British Dictionary definitions for finals


pl n
  1. the deciding part or parts of a sports or other competition
  2. education the last examination series in an academic or professional course


  1. of or occurring at the end; concluding; ultimate; last
  2. having no possibility for further discussion, action, or change; conclusive; decisivea final decree of judgment
  3. relating to or constituting an end or purposea final clause may be introduced by ``in order to''
  4. phonetics at the end of a word``cat'' has a final ``t'' Compare medial (def. 1), initial (def. 1)
  5. music another word for perfect (def. 9b)
  1. a terminal or last thing; end
  2. a deciding contest between the winners of previous rounds in a competition
  3. music the tonic note of a church mode
See also finals

Word Origin for final

C14: from Latin fīnālis, from fīnis limit, boundary
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 finals

short for final exams, by 1890.



early 14c., from Old French final and directly from Latin finalis "of or pertaining to an end, concluding, final," from finis "end" (see finish). As a noun, late 14c., "that which comes last;" meaning "final contest" in a sporting sense is from 1880. As a shortening of final examination, from 1880.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with finals


see in the final analysis.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.