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finishing touch

A small change or addition that serves to complete something. For example, The room still needed a few finishing touches, such as a flower arrangement. This expression is sometimes put as a finishing stroke. [c. 1700]

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

Examples from the Web for finishing touch

Historical Examples

  • The defensive fortification was the finishing-touch to the original structure.

    Bramble-bees and Others

    J. Henri Fabre

  • The rubbing of a bit of lemon about the beaker's brim is the finishing-touch to a whiskey punch.

    Cobwebs From an Empty Skull

    Ambrose Bierce (AKA: Dod Grile)

  • These combinations put the finishing-touch on the strength of his wife's position.

    It Never Can Happen Again

    William De Morgan

  • To put a finishing-touch to it, though the lady walked with modestly downcast eyes there was a sly and merry smile on her face.

    The Possessed

    Fyodor Dostoevsky

  • When man attempts to add a finishing-touch to the loveliness of the forest, lake, or ocean, he makes a botch of it.