• synonyms


[fin-ee-uh l, fahy-nee-]
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  1. Architecture. a relatively small, ornamental, terminal feature at the top of a gable, pinnacle, etc.
  2. an ornamental termination to the top of a piece of furniture, or of one part of such a piece.
  3. Typography. a curve terminating the main stroke of the characters in some italic fonts.
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Origin of finial

1400–50; late Middle English, derivative of Latin fīnis end; see -al1
Related formsfin·i·aled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for finial

Historical Examples

  • This is especially the case with regard to the shape of the finial.

    The Bronze Age and the Celtic World

    Harold Peake

  • Where the finial joins the roof a rayed sun of cast metal is placed.


    W. R. Lethaby

  • Beasts project at the gable angles, and the summit it crowned by a finial.

    The Shores of the Adriatic

    F. Hamilton Jackson

  • Spires end usually in a boss or finial, surmounted by a weathercock.


    Thomas Roger Smith

  • And not content with this exuberance in the external ornaments of the arch, the finial interferes with its traceries.

British Dictionary definitions for finial


  1. an ornament on top of a spire, gable, etc, esp in the form of a foliated fleur-de-lys
  2. an ornament at the top of a piece of furniture, etc
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Derived Formsfinialed, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from finial (adj), variant of final
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 finial


"ornament at the top of a spire, gable, etc.," mid-15c., from fyniall "putting an end to, binding" (early 15c.), a variant of final.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper