Definition of finality in US English:


nounPlural finalities

  • 1The fact or impression of being an irreversible ending.

    ‘the abrupt finality of death’
    ‘there's a dreadful finality about cutting down a tree’
    • ‘For the time being, the thrill of the long awaited freedom was eclipsed by the finality of the fact that we had left those days of camaraderie and school girl simplicity behind us forever.’
    • ‘Contemporaries were agreed that there was an awesome finality to these events.’
    • ‘For the 777 students who sat the country's toughest exam, the walk down the corridor to receive their results had a definite air of finality.’
    • ‘Even though a dreadful sense of finality pummelled him and threatened to bring back the depression that had barely nagged him for many years, he kept walking.’
    • ‘She's a whirlwind of anger and violence, desperate to deny the finality of Rocky's affliction that she knew she would one day have to face.’
    • ‘For some reason, there seemed to be a particular finality attached to this latest bereavement.’
    • ‘Some blinded veterans recall that doctors did little more than bluntly inform them of the finality of their condition, and ask them if they had any questions.’
    • ‘What modern psychologists dispute about the chrysalis image is the finality it implies.’
    • ‘The finality of death of a young man with glowing prospects for success is a shattering blow indeed.’
    • ‘Our moving forward is impeded by the finality of this event, but the memory of these five wonderful people wills us to move forward.’
    • ‘Everything seemed so strange, so surreal almost, and yet with a definite air of finality.’
    • ‘Capital punishment makes people uneasy because of its absolute finality.’
    • ‘I'd rather face up to the finality and get on with my life, lonely or not, for as long as it lasts.’
    • ‘This general trajectory of life moves from the fluidity and possibility associated with birth to the stillness and finality of death and ancestorhood.’
    • ‘The door locked with a click that echoed in her ears with a finality that bespoke doom.’
    • ‘It wasn't Jake I was nervous about; it was the finality.’
    • ‘Completeness and potential finality of injury to reality are the dangers that arise out of contemporary fact manipulation.’
    • ‘As the faint stars flickered like a thousand tiny candles, a definite sense of finality came over her.’
    • ‘At the end, Alex felt there was a certain finality, as if perhaps he'd never see Benny again.’
    • ‘The finality of death that you might want to give to criminals would be just as final on the falsely accused.’
    conclusiveness, decisiveness, decision, definiteness, definitiveness, absoluteness, completeness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A tone or manner which indicates that no further comment or argument is possible.
      ‘“No,” she said with finality’
      • ‘With a tone of finality, he stated, ‘It's either that or get yourself another doctor!’’
      • ‘Refolding the note with finality, Grace opened a drawer in the desk and deposited the note beside a stack of parchment.’
      • ‘It is very hard to incorporate the finality of say… a slamming door into one's voice inflection, but the captain did it perfectly.’
      • ‘Tears filled my eyes at the finality of Mike's statement.’
      • ‘The tone of her voice indicated finality to the conversation.’
      • ‘‘To not give up,’ Isabel added quietly, a certain menace and finality somewhere in her voice.’
      • ‘This statement, regardless of its finality, did nothing to hamper Nikki's argument.’
      • ‘‘It's fine,’ the werewolf stated with such finality that it left no room for argument.’
      • ‘‘I think you should stay here,’ she declared, a tone of early finality in her voice.’
      • ‘Her voice held a tone of finality that signaled the end of the discussion.’
      • ‘Her tone had a note of finality to it and intuitively Nell rose, hands quivering with anticipation as she reached for the shabby black book.’
      • ‘He tried to put a tone of finality in his voice, but it wavered and Alex was beginning to think he understood what had made him so nervous.’
      • ‘His words held a tone of finality that warranted no argument.’
      • ‘When he did, it was with a finality that implied the conclusion to a great tale.’
      • ‘It also possesses a certain casual finality, for example.’
      • ‘Although she was chilled to the bone by the finality of the Queen's words, a part of her wondered if that wasn't such a bad thing.’
      • ‘Her sister replied with a finality that ended the discussion.’
      • ‘There was a triumphant finality in his voice, as if to say: Gotcha!’
      • ‘‘Because I don't see you as royalty,’ Alexander said, with a tone of finality in his voice.’
      • ‘The finality of his tone brooked no argument, and it seemed as though it had finally sunk in that Mr Cunningham had tried something on me.’
      • ‘The pirates recognized the tone of finality and stood up, ‘Natasha, come in here, please!’’
      • ‘But there had been conviction and finality in his tone.’
    2. 1.2 An action or event that ends something irreversibly.
      ‘death is the ultimate finality’
      • ‘Those who live with their feet on the ground don't hang themselves with abstract ‘at larges’ or final finalities.’
      • ‘‘This whole episode has been shrouded in a veil of secrecy since the start and there is an onus on us to bring a finality to it once and for all,’ he added.’
      • ‘As I said previously, this was still at the stage where there were no finalities of how things were going to be done, and I was not instructed on that.’
      • ‘In fact, isn't that exactly how we experience life, as a series of finalities?’
      • ‘For existentialism defines the human condition as a perpetual beginning, an unfinished finality which, persisting in the depths of our wretchedness as in the heights of our glory, can never be superseded.’
      • ‘If death is just life upside down, as these lines suggest, then there are certainly no tragic endings to human life, no consummating finalities.’
      • ‘He prefers to offer his pieces without a finality, to ‘allow the spectator the courtesy of coming to their own conclusions.’’
      • ‘He cuts off his reading with a series of disturbing questions: ‘How could productions of art appear to us as finalities without end?’’
      • ‘One only may anticipate the finalities of existence with an enforced apathy.’


Mid 19th century: from French finalité, from late Latin finalitas, from Latin finalis (see final).