Origin of finish

1300–50; Middle English finisshen < Anglo-French, Middle French finiss-, long stem of finir < Latin fīnīre to end. See fine1
Related formsfin·ish·er, nounnon·fin·ish·ing, adjective, nounpre·fin·ish, verb (used with object), noun
Can be confusedFinnish finish

Synonyms for finish

Synonym study

13. See end1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for finishing

Contemporary Examples of finishing

Historical Examples of finishing

British Dictionary definitions for finishing



football the act or skill of goal scoringBrattbakk's finishing is deadly


verb (mainly tr)

to bring to an end; complete, conclude, or stop
(intr sometimes foll by up) to be at or come to the end; use up
to bring to a desired or complete condition
to put a particular surface texture on (wood, cloth, etc)
(often foll by off) to destroy or defeat completely
to train (a person) in social graces and talents
(intr foll by with)
  1. to end a relationship or association
  2. to stop punishing a personI haven't finished with you yet!


the final or last stage or part; end
  1. the death, destruction, or absolute defeat of a person or one side in a conflicta fight to the finish
  2. the person, event, or thing that brings this about
  1. the surface texture or appearance of wood, cloth, etca rough finish
  2. a preparation, such as varnish, used to produce such a texture
a thing, event, etc, that completes
completeness and high quality of workmanship
refinement in social graces
sport ability to sprint at the end of a racehe has a good finish

Word Origin for finish

C14: from Old French finir, from Latin fīnīre see fine 1
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 finishing



1779, "that which finishes or gives completion," from finish (v.). Meaning "the end" is from 1790. Finish line attested from 1873.



late 14c., "to bring to an end;" mid-15c., "to come to an end," from Old French finiss-, present participle stem of fenir (13c.) "stop, finish, come to an end, die," from Latin finire "to limit, set bounds, put an end to, come to an end," from finis "boundary, limit, border, end," of unknown origin, perhaps related to figere "to fasten, fix" (see fix). Meaning "to kill" is from 1755. Related: Finished; finishing. Finishing school is from 1836.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with finishing


see from soup to nuts (start to finish); in at the death (finish).

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