noun (used with a plural verb) Informal.

the police: New York City's finest.

Nearby words

  1. finder's fee,
  2. finders keepers, losers weepers,
  3. finders, keepers,
  4. finding,
  5. findlay,
  6. fine and dandy,
  7. fine art,
  8. fine arts,
  9. fine bouche,
  10. fine champagne

Origin of finest

An Americanism dating back to 1925–30



adjective, fin·er, fin·est.

of superior or best quality; of high or highest grade: fine wine.
choice, excellent, or admirable: a fine painting.
consisting of minute particles: fine sand; a fine purée.
very thin or slender: fine thread.
keen or sharp, as a tool: Is the knife fine enough to carve well?
delicate in texture; filmy: fine cotton fabric.
delicately fashioned: fine tracery.
highly skilled or accomplished: a fine musician.
trained to the maximum degree, as an athlete.
characterized by or affecting refinement or elegance: a fine lady.
polished or refined: fine manners.
affectedly ornate or elegant: A style so fine repels the average reader.
delicate or subtle: a fine distinction.
bright and clear: a fine day; fine skin.
healthy; well: In spite of his recent illness, he looks fine.
showy or smart; elegant in appearance: a bird of fine plumage.
good-looking or handsome: a fine young man.
(of a precious metal or its alloy) free from impurities or containing a large amount of pure metal: fine gold; Sterling silver is 92.5 percent fine.


Informal. in an excellent manner; very well: He did fine on the exams. She sings fine.
very small: She writes so fine I can hardly read it.
Billiards, Pool. in such a way that the driven ball barely touches the object ball in passing.
Nautical. as close as possible to the wind: sailing fine.

verb (used without object), fined, fin·ing.

to become fine or finer, as by refining.
to become less, as in size or proportions; reduce; diminish (often followed by down): The plumpness fines down with exercise.

verb (used with object), fined, fin·ing.

to make fine or finer, especially by refining or pulverizing.
to reduce the size or proportions of (often used with down or away): to fine down the heavy features; to fine away superfluous matter in a design.
to clarify (wines or spirits) by filtration.


  1. Mining.crushed ore sufficiently fine to pass through a given screen.Compare short(def 29e).
  2. Agriculture.the fine bits of corn kernel knocked off during handling of the grain.

Origin of fine

1250–1300; Middle English fin < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin fīnis end, utmost limit, highest point

Synonym study

1. Fine, choice, elegant, exquisite are terms of praise with reference to quality. Fine is a general term: a fine horse, person, book. Choice implies a discriminating selection of the object in question: a choice piece of steak. Elegant suggests a refined and graceful superiority that is generally associated with luxury and a cultivated taste: elegant furnishings. Exquisite suggests an admirable delicacy, finish, or perfection: an exquisite piece of lace. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for finest

British Dictionary definitions for finest




excellent or choice in quality; very good of its kinda fine speech
superior in skill, ability, or accomplishmenta fine violinist
(of weather) clear and dry
enjoyable or satisfyinga fine time
(postpositive) informal quite well; in satisfactory healthI feel fine
satisfactory; acceptablethat's fine by me
of delicate composition or careful workmanshipfine crystal
(of precious metals) pure or having a high or specified degree of purityfine silver; gold 98 per cent fine
subtle in perception; discriminatinga fine eye for antique brasses
abstruse or subtlea fine point in argument
very thin or slenderfine hair
very smallfine dust; fine print
(of edges, blades, etc) sharp; keen
ornate, showy, or smart
good-looking; handsomea fine young woman
polished, elegant, or refineda fine gentleman
morally upright and commendablea fine man
cricket (of a fielding position) oblique to and behind the wicketfine leg
(prenominal) informal disappointing or terriblea fine mess


informal quite well; all rightthat suits me fine
a nonstandard word for finely
billiards snooker (of a stroke on the cue ball) so as to merely brush the object ball
cut it fine to allow little margin of time, space, etc


to make or become finer; refine
(often foll by down or away) to make or become smaller
(tr) to clarify (wine, etc) by adding finings
(tr) billiards snooker to hit (a cue ball) fine
(intr foll by up) Australian and NZ informal (of the weather) to become fine

Word Origin for fine

C13: from Old French fin, from Latin fīnis end, boundary, as in fīnis honōrum the highest degree of honour




a certain amount of money exacted as a penaltya parking fine
a payment made by a tenant at the start of his tenancy to reduce his subsequent rent; premium
feudal law a sum of money paid by a man to his lord, esp for the privilege of transferring his land to another
a method of transferring land in England by bringing a fictitious law suit: abolished 1833
in fine
  1. in short; briefly
  2. in conclusion; finally


(tr) to impose a fine on

Word Origin for fine

C12 (in the sense: conclusion, settlement): from Old French fin; see fine 1



noun music

the point at which a piece is to end, usually after a da capo or dal segno
an ending or finale

Word Origin for fine

Italian, from Latin fīnis end




brandy of ordinary quality

Word Origin for fine

literally: fine

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 finest
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with finest


In addition to the idioms beginning with fine

  • fine and dandy
  • fine art

also see:

  • come on in (the water's fine)
  • cut it fine
  • in fine feather
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.