Definition of final in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfīnl/


1Coming at the end of a series: the final version of the report was presented
More example sentences
  • It was only when they saw the finished version in its final mix that they knew what they had got.
  • What this enables me to do is to get words down in a way that's closer to the final version.
  • Even funnier was a line which was cut from the final version.
last, closing, concluding, finishing, end, terminating, ultimate, eventual
1.1Reached or designed to be reached as the outcome of a process or a series of events: the final cost will easily run into six figures
More example sentences
  • They were also given an explanation of the printing process from initial graphics through to the final design.
  • The outcome in the final points, as well as in the two events, was new European records.
  • At the time of writing, it is too early to know the final outcome of the process.
1.2Allowing no further doubt or dispute: the decision of the judging panel is final
More example sentences
  • But it must throw into doubt the ability of the tribunal to be a final arbitrator of disputes.
  • The court, which sits in The Hague, is the final arena for settling disputes between nations.
  • And this time supported by deeds that allow the neighbours to give Japan a final absolution.
irrevocable, unalterable, absolute, conclusive, irrefutable, incontrovertible, indisputable, unchallengeable, binding


1The last game in a sports tournament or other competition, which decides the winner of the tournament.
Example sentences
  • The winners of the semi-finals will take part in a county final to decide the winner.
  • The Netherlands have now made the Olympic final for the third Games in a row.
  • The three will include both finalists and the winner of the qualifying final.
decider, clincher, final game/match
1.1 (finals) A series of games constituting the final stage of a competition: the World Cup finals
More example sentences
  • The result means Australia are still well in the hunt for next week's best-of-three finals of the series, which also features South Africa.
  • Waugh angrily bustled out of the conference after his side failed to make the finals of the tri-nations series.
  • Each team has to arrive by 15 January, then they face elimination rounds in each event, building up to a three-day series of finals.
2 (final) North American An examination at the end of a term, academic year, or particular class.
Example sentences
  • He and nine other finalists had to prepare two main course dishes for the healthy catering class final.
  • There were more chapters to read, more papers to write, and a final in every class.
  • The duke spent time watching the games and when he moved inside for the primary school final spoke to a number of children about the day.
2.1 (finals) British A series of examinations at the end of a degree course: she was doing her history finals
More example sentences
  • The atmosphere was more like that of an examination hall on finals day than a sporting arena before a big event.
  • It's 20 years this month since I took my first degree finals and spent every hour that they were open in that particular library.
  • Far from opting for a quiet life, Eddie is putting his radio career on hold in order to study for his Law degree finals - not to mention planning for his forthcoming wedding!
3 Music The principal note in a mode.
Example sentences
  • Often, he seems to set up two possible finals, the ‘tonal’ issue being settled only at the last moment.
  • The melody type is paramount; mode in the sense of scale and final is secondary.
4 (finals) British The final approach of a landing aircraft to a runway: the plane piloted by Richards was on finals
More example sentences
  • Just before coming abeam the runway threshold I began a continuous finals turn, Spitfire style.


the final straw

see straw.


Middle English (in the adjectival sense 'conclusive'): from Old French, or from Latin finalis, from finis 'end'. Compare with finish.

Words that rhyme with final

doctrinal, semi-final, spinal, urinal

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fi·nal

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