Definition of finial in US English:



  • 1A distinctive ornament at the apex of a roof, pinnacle, canopy, or similar structure in a building.

    • ‘The ornamental flourishes on the top are called finials.’
    • ‘Frequently, as here, the center finial consists of a ball impaled on a spire, on top of the urn and bell.’
    • ‘Roof finials, chimneys, color bands, shallow balconies, and textured paving are some characteristic elements of Portuguese style.’
    • ‘The following year the Regensburg master mason Matthaus Roriczer published a short treatise on the proper way to make finials and pinnacles.’
    • ‘The buildings were delicate, with pointed roofs, spires, and finials.’
    • ‘Similarly, the three turned finials at the top give it a stately quality.’
    • ‘Worn walls reformed themselves into a series of buttresses and rounded finials, bearded caryatids, zoomorphic statues.’
    • ‘Determining an appropriate finial for the pediment required another approach.’
    • ‘The need for the work to take place was graphically-illustrated when two of the ornate finials that point skywards at the top of the tower fell down.’
    • ‘Its open trellis back soars up to a cedar shake roof and a flourish of finials.’
    • ‘This is one of the most successful small classical buildings of its period, with a widely spaced Roman Doric hemicycle, and a copper roof with a bulbous finial for the clock.’
    • ‘This rectangular top was crowned by a barrel-vaulted shape of Buddhist origin, crowned with a row of finials.’
    • ‘The head gardener's house is decorated with barge boards and finials, and has been carefully restored.’
    • ‘A central chimney rises through the body and cover and is open at the top beneath the finial.’
    • ‘They always have an uneven number of storeys and also once had an ornate metal finial, a decoration on the top.’
    • ‘Traditional zanko finials, somewhat more ornamental than average, stand guard at the corners of the two front towers and above the entry.’
    turret, minaret, spire, belfry, obelisk, needle, pyramid, cone, shikara, mirador
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An ornament at the top, end, or corner of an object.
      ‘ornate curtain poles with decorative finials’
      • ‘It retains its original brasses, finials, and decorative carving.’
      • ‘The cover with mock latchet and ring finial and the two-stepped, angular handles on the body are popular features on pieces from 1800 onwards.’
      • ‘Your fencing can be customized with ornate finials, scrolls, rings, and your choice of three distinctive picket tops and post caps.’
      • ‘You can mix and match rods, rings and finials to create a one-of-a-kind look.’
      • ‘Then, build on the visual impact with details like ring tops, prominent wood poles, finials and brackets.’
      • ‘These railings once boasted elaborate lamp brackets with decorative scrolls and finials.’
      • ‘Be prepared instead for some rather more unusual ways of adorning nature such as spikes for hedges and fences, and decorative chokers and collars for branches or you could even crown the bean poles with a conical finial pot.’
      • ‘Note the decorative finials on both the stitching frame and the plow.’
      • ‘The Equinox pole with hand blown glass finials is just gorgeous.’
      • ‘In line with the ‘embellished’ trend, rods were decorative too, and a quirky version displayed illuminated finials with colour choices available in blue, yellow or pink.’
      • ‘The chests differ only in details of decoration and finial turnings: Four have an undulating shell on the drawer fronts, three have intertwined applied vines, and another has one of each.’
      • ‘The dowels are 29 inches long, and I drilled 1/8-inch pilot holes in the tops so I could screw in decorative finial hardware as a finishing touch to match my frames.’
      • ‘He hung the curved doors in the library using highly decorated throw hinges with cast finials and extremely wide leaves.’
      • ‘Trigger guard finials are decorative elements of the trigger guard and are useful in the identification of gun types.’
      • ‘Most manufacturers make it possible to mix and match poles, drapery rings, decorative finials and holdbacks in a variety of finishes - from white and ebony to antique gold, brass and copper.’


Late Middle English: from Old French fin or Latin finis ‘end’.