Definition of final in English:



  • 1Coming at the end of a series.

    ‘the final version of the report was presented’
    • ‘The final deal allowed them to get this hall for less money than they anticipated.’
    • ‘The final review allows voters to correct such errors - but they must notice them first.’
    • ‘The visit is the final event of the season in the Parish Music series of concerts in country churches.’
    • ‘It was only when they saw the finished version in its final mix that they knew what they had got.’
    • ‘Once again, the result remained in doubt until the final minutes of injury time.’
    • ‘This was an exciting game of football with the result in doubt up until the final whistle.’
    • ‘The lift doors were still open, allowing you a final chance to change your mind, but as you went past them they closed.’
    • ‘He closed his eyes and allowed himself one final rest before he attempted to move again.’
    • ‘For us voters we have now made up our mind and reached the final days of decision.’
    • ‘It was a match in which the result was in doubt until the final delivery.’
    • ‘The last thing they needed was a dispute over his final resting place.’
    • ‘Just when it looked like the fourth and no doubt final meeting was going to end without any plans in place, Barrett sprang to his feet.’
    • ‘They must have allowed him one final visit now his fate had been officially decided.’
    • ‘Having made the decision, the final frontier seemed determined to beat us despite our best efforts.’
    • ‘What this enables me to do is to get words down in a way that's closer to the final version.’
    • ‘The hanging chamber has a small Buddhist statue in one corner to allow the condemned a final prayer.’
    • ‘Even funnier was a line which was cut from the final version.’
    • ‘The group looked to the door as it slid open, allowing entry to the final expected guests.’
    • ‘Even Terry Pratchett says he writes a sort of sketchy version of his final scene in the early stages of his first draft.’
    • ‘Granted, the contest was a gripping one which was never beyond doubt until the final whistle.’
    last, closing, concluding, finishing, end, ending, terminating, terminal, culminating, ultimate, eventual, endmost
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    1. 1.1 Reached or designed to be reached as the outcome of a process or a series of actions and events.
      ‘the final cost will easily run into six figures’
      • ‘In the event, these were to make a decisive contribution to the final outcome of the Cold War.’
      • ‘They were also given an explanation of the printing process from initial graphics through to the final design.’
      • ‘Although beaten by stronger opponents, they performed way better than the final scoreline.’
      • ‘Two controversial refereeing decisions were to have a big bearing on the final outcome.’
      • ‘At the time of writing, it is too early to know the final outcome of the process.’
      • ‘The final scoreline indicates a miss match but it was not quite that one-sided.’
      • ‘The final phase will allow finishing touches to be applied to the scheme and any last-minute glitches to be ironed out.’
      • ‘However, this effect is subsequently explored when final binding parameter estimates are made.’
      • ‘The outcome in the final points, as well as in the two events, was new European records.’
      • ‘Helping people overcome silence and move through that final stage of trauma is potentially empowering.’
      • ‘Although the final result was in doubt up to the closing moments of the game.’
      • ‘When final grade is achieved, can temporary grass be immediately planted?’
      • ‘Thus far, no final conclusion has been reached, and the wrangling continues.’
      • ‘With neither side able to stamp their authority in the crucial midfield area the final score was in doubt right to the end.’
      • ‘Additional perks could be won when final contracts were negotiated unit by unit.’
      • ‘The final goal is to allow students to order official documents via the internet.’
      • ‘And Max Flint reports live from Estonia as final preparations are underway.’
      • ‘It actually reported matters that the committee had not reached a final conclusion on.’
      • ‘Few doubted the final result of the war, none could have predicted such a quick result.’
      • ‘A General Medical Council hearing was adjourned yesterday before a final conclusion was reached.’
    2. 1.2 Allowing no further doubt or dispute.
      ‘the decision of the judging panel is final’
      • ‘It is understood a final decision on the outcome of the objections will not be known for a number of months.’
      • ‘At press time, the task force was scheduled to meet again to reach a final decision.’
      • ‘He said that through the mechanism, any dispute would be resolved in stages before a final decision was made.’
      • ‘Couples are allowed to divorce twice, and the third divorce is final.’
      • ‘Get a bit of proper closure and leave things on good, and final, terms.’
      • ‘The hard work doesn't end once your divorce is final.’
      • ‘Ultimately, the examiners' marks are final and, at the moment, students can do little to challenge them.’
      • ‘What falls away is any notion of an uncontested, final, authorized reality.’
      • ‘There have been calls on both sides of the death penalty debate to shorten the time taken to reach a final decision.’
      • ‘And this time supported by deeds that allow the neighbours to give Japan a final absolution.’
      • ‘Altogether, the case could continue for a additional two years before a final decision is reached.’
      • ‘The independent regulator is waiting for completion before reaching a final decision about the foundation status.’
      • ‘The court, which sits in The Hague, is the final arena for settling disputes between nations.’
      • ‘The editor's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.’
      • ‘Granada would make a final decision when the outcome of the formal regulatory review process was known.’
      • ‘Lawmakers are required to reach a final decision within 15 days of receiving the request.’
      • ‘The head of department must make a final decision before any ruling by the disputes department goes into effect.’
      • ‘But it must throw into doubt the ability of the tribunal to be a final arbitrator of disputes.’
      • ‘He said further advice would be taken before any final decision is reached by the executive.’
      • ‘Our clients clearly want the court hearing to reach a final outcome on all of the issues raised in their application.’
      irrevocable, unalterable, absolute, conclusive, irrefutable, incontrovertible, indisputable, unappealable, unchallengeable, binding
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  • 1The last game in a sports tournament or other competition, which will decide the winner of the tournament.

    • ‘Every game is a final from now on and you need to be on top of your game.’
    • ‘Of course a team has to play 16 games before they reach the final of the Champions League.’
    • ‘The national final of the tournament was recently held in the University of Limerick.’
    • ‘The Netherlands have now made the Olympic final for the third Games in a row.’
    • ‘I've always said if you aren't going to go up as champions then a great way to do it is in a playoff final.’
    • ‘The three will include both finalists and the winner of the qualifying final.’
    • ‘The winners of the semi-finals will take part in a county final to decide the winner.’
    • ‘In May 1995, we reached the final of a tournament, in which more than 10 teams had taken part.’
    • ‘There was a volleyball final to be played, football teams to support, athletes to cheer and medals to be won.’
    • ‘A very competitive staff versus students match precedes the competition final.’
    • ‘The semi-finals and the final of the competition will take place on Saturday, March 18.’
    • ‘There was the final of a football tournament that was organised in Pollok in Gordon's name last week.’
    • ‘Then disaster struck, they were not allowed to play the final owing to outbreaks in the county.’
    • ‘He praised their dedication to the sport and wished them good competition in the county final.’
    • ‘Mind you the Israel team lost the Olympic final on the toss of a coin, so much so for our soccer standards then.’
    • ‘The states will split into two pools of three, with the winners playing the final on January 21.’
    • ‘Any tournament with semi-finals and a final has three matches in which the winner takes all at the end.’
    • ‘Regional finals are held in January and the winners contest the national final in Dublin in March.’
    • ‘The winner will be decided at the grand final at the end of May, and proceeds raised from that night will go to the Robyn Brooks Appeal.’
    • ‘The loser of that match gets the bronze medal, while the winners go through to contest the final.’
    decider, final game, final match
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    1. 1.1finals A series of games constituting the final stage of a competition.
      ‘the World Cup finals’
      • ‘‘There was a sense that, if we could beat Toronto, we could beat Western in the finals,’ said Hammond.’
      • ‘She has also reached the finals of the national table tennis championships which are to be held at Crystal Palace in London next month.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There, Hall managed his way into the finals, setting the stage for an memorable battle.’
      • ‘Given that the Russians only victory on their travels in reaching the finals was in the play-off in Wales, the omens don't look terribly encouraging for success in Portugal.’
      • ‘Henman had previously lost in two Masters Series finals, at Cincinnati in 2000 and Indian Wells two years later.’
      • ‘She first heard Abba in the Eurovision finals in 1974 and rooted for them patriotically, without getting overexcited about the victory of Waterloo.’
      • ‘The temptation would have been to play it safe in the finals.’
      • ‘The meet will be staged as straight out finals, with one competitor, per nation, per event.’
      • ‘There are still seats available for tonight's finals which start at 7pm.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ten orchestras will head to the finals, as well as ten soloists, six duets, six quartets and eight ensembles.’
      • ‘Success against the Eastern Europeans will see England qualify for an intermediary round in April next year with the Championship finals to be staged next summer.’
      • ‘Their guaranteed place in the finals has meant that the real training effort was just being made in the weeks leading into the finals.’
      • ‘Waugh angrily bustled out of the conference after his side failed to make the finals of the tri-nations series.’
      • ‘Sri Lanka's win confirmed their place in the finals of the tournament on August 9.’
      • ‘The new 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium, planned for completion in 2006, would host the Olympic football finals.’
      • ‘The World Series finals then run from 22 to 28 May.’
      • ‘Keighley have reached the finals of the competition five times, but have yet to win.’
      • ‘In the team event, Zambia lost 3-2 in the finals to allow defending champions South Africa to retain the title they won in 1999.’
  • 2finalBritish A series of examinations at the end of a degree course.

    ‘she was doing her history finals’
    • ‘I know this is a really obvious fact, but it put into perspective the fact that three years ago we hadn't even had our Oxford interviews, and now we are preparing to sit finals and walk away with a degree.’
    • ‘Bring a copy of the Student Handbook with you, challenging the instructor to find the section on musical instruments during finals.’
    • ‘His daughter, Theresa, has just sat her political history finals at a university in Scotland and is nervously awaiting her results.’
    • ‘So there I was, sitting in my finals, staring at exam papers and knowing that I wouldn't be able to answer the questions.’
    • ‘I spent a week studying for my finals without music and it was the longest, most boring week I have ever spent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's all too easy to forget that while exams, finals and academic achievement all have their place they shouldn't be our raison d'être.’
    • ‘Less than three years after arriving at Oxford University, Hawking again had to face the music when finals approached, and he suddenly found that he could have been better prepared.’
    • ‘The atmosphere was more like that of an examination hall on finals day than a sporting arena before a big event.’
    • ‘The frenetic toing and froing of the weeks before finals are, of course, the result of months of work and preparation.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘Actually he'd just passed his finals but hadn't received his degree so couldn't officially call himself doctor yet.’
    • ‘He was also determined to stay at the top of his year, but lower-than-expected marks in his finals deprived him of a first-class degree.’
    1. 2.1finalNorth American An examination at the end of a term, school year, or particular class.
      • ‘He and nine other finalists had to prepare two main course dishes for the healthy catering class final.’
      • ‘My boyfriend, Chris, and I had our last final on May 11th.’
      • ‘On subject with that, I was helping Natalie study for her history finals on Friday, testing her on world leaders.’
      • ‘Old and new gossip circulated, pranks were played by students on professors, and classes went as scheduled while winter finals approached.’
      • ‘Many families are simply waiting for their school-age children to finish mid-year finals or college exams so they can leave.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I had six finals in a three day period, then a few days to breathe before my last final of the semester.’
      • ‘When we get them, they are just finishing finals, and then they have to learn this new job.’
      • ‘With finals approaching I know that I will be consuming a lot more caffeine than I already do.’
      • ‘This kind of sleep deprivation and dedication usually shows up in students only when term projects and finals are upon us.’
      • ‘Everybody was busy planning for the Prom, for the finals and of course, for college.’
      • ‘There were more chapters to read, more papers to write, and a final in every class.’
  • 3Music
    The principal note in a mode.

    • ‘The melody type is paramount; mode in the sense of scale and final is secondary.’
    • ‘Often, he seems to set up two possible finals, the ‘tonal’ issue being settled only at the last moment.’
  • 4finalsThe final approach of an aircraft to the runway it will be landing on.

    ‘the plane piloted by Richards was on finals’
    • ‘Just before coming abeam the runway threshold I began a continuous finals turn, Spitfire style.’



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