Definition of finish in US English:

finish

verb

[with object]
  • 1Bring (a task or activity) to an end; complete.

    ‘they were straining to finish the job’
    with present participle ‘we finished eating our meal’
    no object ‘the musician finished to thunderous applause’
    • ‘When in a hurry, workers devote mental resources to quickly finishing a task, rather than generating new ideas.’
    • ‘I haven't managed to finish this week's task as it was quite involved so I've decided to carry it over until next week.’
    • ‘Co-ordination work has started and a task force will finish a feasibility study for the whole project by the end of this year.’
    • ‘He said that he would quit his post after he finishes his assigned task of reforming party policies, but that he would remain a party member.’
    • ‘Most Airmen know they're important to their mission and they must finish their tasks.’
    • ‘He was highly regarded and known as a hard-working, diligent member of the team who could be trusted to finish any task with characteristic good humour.’
    • ‘Dr. Rothery visibly relaxed and went to finish the task she had started before the interruption, bringing my water over to me.’
    • ‘OK, by now you should have finished the colouring task I set earlier.’
    • ‘The carpenter would respond, and eventually a painter would get to the job site to finish the work.’
    • ‘After she had finished the required tasks she got right down to work on getting to know the dogs.’
    • ‘His proof was so complex that referees spent 6 years checking the results, without completely finishing the task.’
    • ‘Reluctantly, she finishes her homework and eats a quiet dinner with her family.’
    • ‘Also, Cleric wants Jim to follow him to Harvard, where he has accepted a job offer, and finish his education there.’
    • ‘When she finished this task, she placed the basket securely on the dresser to await the arrival of Johnny's van.’
    • ‘He added: ‘I definitely want to be a professional musician once I finish my studies.’’
    • ‘That sort of interaction gave me fuel to finish my task.’
    • ‘You can do the same following our step-by-step painting template, or finish the project as you see fit.’
    • ‘After finishing his task, he was invited to work at the Bureau, but he declined.’
    • ‘I could have finished the task a couple of weeks ago, but, for some reason, I decided to prolong the agony and leave it hanging.’
    • ‘I did a Masters straight after my BA as I was couldn't decide between finding a job and trying to finish my studies.’
    completed, concluded, consummated, finalized, terminated, over and done with, over, in the past, at an end
    complete, end, conclude, close, bring to a conclusion, bring to an end, bring to a close, consummate, finalize, bring to fruition
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Consume or get through the final amount or portion of (something, especially food or drink)
      ‘finish your fajita while it's still hot’
      ‘Jerry finished off a margarita’
      • ‘At one, there was a load of polystyrene boxes outside with the remains of takeaway meals, dumped by people who couldn't be bothered to finish their food.’
      • ‘I came back in and finished my drink and looking back I can't recall that it tasted any different.’
      • ‘By early evening we will have finished our food, and will have had several drinks.’
      • ‘The little sister has somehow finished her drink and disposed of the glass.’
      • ‘He sat with the sick man until late in the evening, and then finished the food himself.’
      • ‘We discovered that we all had a horror of wasting food, and would finish a dish rather than throw it in the bin.’
      • ‘He was sad to read in the newspapers about a retired high school teacher having to hop from table to table in a food outlet to finish the leftovers on the plates.’
      • ‘Mark finished his drink, and spun the glass round and round on the table in front of him.’
      • ‘After the meat was finished off, both Silhi and I laid on our backs and looked up at the sky.’
      • ‘He waited patiently for Ambrose to finish his drink, then took the canteen from the man's outstretched hand.’
      consume, eat, devour, drink, finish off, polish off, gulp, gulp down, guzzle, quaff
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2no object (of an activity) come to an end.
      ‘the war has finished but nothing has changed’
      • ‘Nine months of work has finished on upgrading one of the main gates at Portsmouth Naval Base, which has now re-opened for traffic.’
      • ‘They hope vital witnesses may come forward before term finishes on Friday.’
      • ‘Not that I plan to do anything more than watch it grow until the summer finishes and autumn is well under way.’
      • ‘The day will finish off with evening dinner and entertainment in the Arklow Bay Hotel.’
      • ‘Due to the pace of the construction, some projects are finishing ahead of schedule.’
      • ‘These months, between one academic year finishing and the next one starting, are pretty frenetic - dealing simultaneously with year end and all the prep for what's about to start.’
      • ‘Just think about the fact that a sitting of the chamber finishes after 5pm, but the full verbatim report is published by 8.30 the next morning.’
      • ‘Work finished at the factory in the summer, and the firm relocated.’
      • ‘She added that although the water clears when building work finishes, it was happening more and more because of the amount of property renovation in the village.’
      • ‘It is understood the tower crane at the centre of Tuesday night's drama will be decommissioned when crane work finishes within the next two weeks.’
      • ‘One of them had spent hours working with Sherry in Australia each day after training had finished.’
      • ‘I didn't think about it over the weekend (once my work day finishes, so does my thoughts and worries about work), but it's been on my mind today.’
      • ‘Builders are hoping to have the work finished in time for St. Patrick's Day.’
      • ‘She will then pack up when the holiday season finishes at the end of the summer, and head back to Bali to buy next year's stock.’
      • ‘He said some enterprises never even lock their doors after the work day finishes.’
      • ‘Not only was his season finished, but the future of his playing days was in serious jeopardy.’
      • ‘Did I mention that I have jury duty coming up straight after the summer semester finishes?’
      end, come to an end, stop, conclude, come to a close, come to a conclusion, come to a end, cease, terminate
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3finish withno object Have no more need for or nothing more to do with.
      ‘“I've finished with Tom,” Gloria said’
      • ‘A return to the workplace can wait; that should still be there when he finishes with athletics, and he is contemplating a degree in design engineering in future.’
      • ‘Swallow your pride, and ask the people getting off a bus at your stop if they are finished with their day ticket.’
      • ‘Conner had to quit his job, finish with Jim, pack up his life, and say goodbye to his friends and family.’
    4. 1.4 Reach the end of a race or other sporting competition, typically in a particular position.
      with complement ‘she finished third in the 3-meter springboard diving’
      • ‘All four were members of China's 2003 world championships team which finished fourth.’
      • ‘If we were to finish fifth every race, I think we could win the championship.’
      • ‘It is the first top 10 finish by a woman competitor at the Race to the Sky.’
      • ‘At Daytona, Mears showed a veteran's patience and wound up finishing a career-best second.’
      • ‘The six-year-old, no stranger to success on this course, ran a fine race to finish third here on Monday.’
      • ‘Four weeks later he made his competitive debut, finishing 32nd in a race in Austria.’
      • ‘Isaac McCann consolidated his overall third place in the under-13 race finishing in third place in 10.25 sec.’
      • ‘Emmett ran a good race to finish in fifth place with a ‘Personal Best’ of 4 minutes 2 seconds.’
      • ‘He won just one Chase race but still finished ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who won four times during the Chase.’
      • ‘Despite this handicap, he finished in a fine fifth place and learnt a lot about his new team and car.’
      • ‘He has finished all but one race, and he has four top-five finishes.’
      • ‘Zedrovski raced competitively to finish in second place, a length and three quarters back.’
  • 2Complete the manufacture or decoration of (a material, object, or place) by giving it an attractive surface appearance.

    ‘the interior was finished with V-jointed American oak’
    • ‘Only after many hours of finishing the surface, was the leather ready to be used.’
    • ‘All in all the rifle looked good and was finished in an attractive black satin finish.’
    • ‘Take the same care in cleaning and preparing a surface to be stained as you would in finishing it.’
    • ‘The fuselage appears to be painted in olive green while the flying surface appears to be finished in silver.’
    • ‘The homeowner used a sage green stain to finish her garden wall.’
    • ‘Teak takes on a beautifully polished appearance when finished because it contains natural oils.’
    • ‘Drywall can be difficult for a novice to finish to a smooth surface.’
    varnish, lacquer, veneer, coat, stain, wax, shellac, enamel, put a finish on, glaze, give a shine to, gloss, polish, burnish, smooth off
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Complete the fattening of (livestock) before slaughter.
      • ‘Otherwise there will be nobody to buy cattle from primary producers who are not in a position to finish their cattle to beef.’
      • ‘He finishes the cattle at the feedlot that he manages.’
      • ‘Increased grain costs or decreased cattle prices have usually been the factors for renewed interest in finishing cattle on forage diets.’
      • ‘For example, farmers finishing cattle over the winter will need a level of advance guarantee on spring beef prices.’
      • ‘Forage systems ended either September 1 or November 23, at which time the cattle were placed in the feedlot for finishing.’
      • ‘Thus, smaller-scaled feedlots are a more suitable option for finishing Kentucky cattle.’
      • ‘By not finishing animals in a feedlot, there are no feedlot-related illnesses, and so there's less need for medications.’
      • ‘The competition is open to suckler farmers whether finishing cattle or selling weanlings or stores.’
      • ‘After each grazing phase was completed, cattle were finished in a western Oklahoma feedlot.’
      • ‘He sells heifers as yearlings, finishes the bullocks and also has 20 ewes.’
      • ‘Fattening cattle should be finished quickly once they are housed.’
  • 3dated Prepare (a girl) for entry into fashionable society.

noun

  • 1usually in singular An end or final part or stage of something.

    ‘a bowl of raspberries was the perfect finish to the meal’
    ‘I really enjoyed the film from start to finish’
    • ‘Against the Olympic champion, France's Laure Manaudou, in tonight's 400m free final, such a finish will be essential.’
    • ‘A perfect finish to the night: flamenco dancing by a thrilling young dancer and music in a small club.’
    • ‘A few hours in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre and a film will put a perfect finish to the day.’
    • ‘These soft, refreshing winter fruits, with their complex texture and flavour, make the perfect finish to a meal.’
    • ‘The Russian campaign will have you on your toes from start to finish - and what a finish it is!’
    • ‘The support we received from start to finish was overwhelming.’
    • ‘By the finish of the race, some exposed sections were drying out, but the interior trails were still pretty thick.’
    • ‘This was not to be as a broken rear arm on the second stage meant an early finish for the Carnforth team.’
    • ‘The stage is set for the closest finish in the history of the World Rally Championship.’
    • ‘For a perfect finish, the snout of the hunter should stab down between his forepaws just as they hit the ground.’
    • ‘The whole thing was misconceived from start to finish - if it has a finish.’
    • ‘The match was poised for a close finish, when it ended abruptly.’
    • ‘It remains whether he has the ability to match him at the stage finish in what is his first Tour.’
    • ‘That is what they will be doing now, and they will be doing so from start to finish - with the finish being the most critical and difficult element in the media mix.’
    • ‘The particularly tough climb of Alpe d' Huez is a favourite, providing a stage finish in most Tours.’
    • ‘As the game moved on to day three the stage was set for a close finish on the final day.’
    end, ending, completion, conclusion, close, closing, cessation, finalization, termination
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A point or place at which a race or competition ends.
      ‘he surged into a winning lead 200 meters from the finish’
      • ‘Late Monday evening news travelled through that the race finish had been moved, as most ships had not passed the second waypoint!’
      • ‘In 2003 he approached the finish of the race with it all sewn up at odds of 4/11 but came down.’
      • ‘Anyway, I'm happy because we reached the finish of a race where so many things have happened.’
      • ‘This was the case as they turned the final bend into the finish.’
      • ‘Verbrugghe broke away on the stage's final climb 18 km from the finish and raced home alone.’
      • ‘Just outside Buckingham Palace, probably a hundred metres from the finish, I saw an old fella being led away by the St John's Army.’
      • ‘The rest of us observe the endurance of the human spirit from the sidelines as they race towards the finish.’
      finishing line, finishing post, tape, end point
      View synonyms
  • 2The manner in which the manufacture of an article is completed in detail.

    ‘wide variation in specification and finish’
    • ‘The finishing touch came with the specification of a semi metallic mid grey paint finish, covering sheet steel doors.’
    • ‘It exhibits the same meticulous detail and refined finish, only varying in the addition of a lapis lazuli stand and in some minor heraldic details.’
    • ‘I don't really mind this, and rather like the distinctly metallic looking finish and dark, dark blue colouring.’
    • ‘You can specify matt finish in the ‘additional information’ box that is at the bottom of the order details page.’
    • ‘The fascia and interior plastics benefit from a much higher quality finish featuring scratch-resistant textures.’
    • ‘And, in a house like this, quality of finish is all-important.’
    • ‘If the designers gave the vehicle a strong look on the outside, they went for top quality finish and lots of space inside.’
    • ‘It's got a metallic, dark blue finish and a polished aluminum triangular logo on the front.’
    • ‘Fraser even holds out the possibility of adding a metallic soft-touch finish to a specific area on a larger part, like a door panel.’
    • ‘Given its high specification finish, it may also appeal to an investor seeking to rent to corporate clients.’
    • ‘‘This is a very high quality office block in terms of specification and finish,’ suggests Doolan.’
    • ‘Wacky overprints, a dull gold finish, colourful rhinestones and lots of feather and fur completed the look.’
    • ‘Cut refers to the proportions, symmetry and finish of the diamond.’
    • ‘The colour has also changed, adding an optional metallic finish and a dark purple as the primary colour.’
    • ‘The detail and perfect finish make every piece an object of wonder.’
    • ‘The refined finish of the scenes embossed and chased in the minutest detail shows off the skill of the silversmiths involved.’
    • ‘This stand was second only to that of Ibrox in terms of its architectural finish and detail.’
    • ‘Clearly a labour of love with its attention to detail and cosy finish, it is a perfect lovers' retreat.’
    • ‘Look at one of their projects and ask yourself whether you would be happy with the quality of finish - paintwork is a good indicator.’
    1. 2.1 The surface appearance of a manufactured material or object, or the material used to produce this.
      ‘lightweight nylon with a shiny finish’
      • ‘We have found time and time again that, when done right, earthen plasters and finishes are far superior to concrete and synthetic stuccos in many ways.’
      • ‘New doors are manufactured in powder-coated finishes, with rounded curves in all different colors.’
      • ‘Eventually all finishes will lose some of their shine as the finish coating wears.’
      • ‘Natural finishes provide warmth and texture in the kitchen too.’
      • ‘Rods and other accessories are available in unlimited finishes from paint surfaces to antique patina.’
      • ‘There are basically two types of floor finishes: one is oil-based and the other is water-based polyurethane.’
      • ‘Rustic country decorating includes the use of natural woods, aged surfaces, rough finishes and simple lines.’
      • ‘Frames come in a choice of finishes, from polished aluminium to brushed nickel or satin chrome.’
      • ‘However, when surface finishes must be renewed, it is usually necessary to refinish the entire room.’
      • ‘Concrete surfaces come in three basic finishes and many colors.’
      • ‘Some newer blinds are coated with reflective finishes.’
      • ‘In a traditional barn, you won't find finishes like drywall or gypsum board.’
      • ‘This sealer serves well for a base coat for other finishes.’
      • ‘The kitchen is a light, airy space that achieves a sophisticated country look through its combination of materials and finishes.’
      • ‘Do you prefer glazed, painted or laminated finishes?’
      • ‘Surface finishes provide a tough, clear coating over stained or sealed wood.’
      • ‘She also chooses finishes and materials that change over time.’
      • ‘Keep in mind that the color may come from different finishes: paint, plaster, tile, or wallpaper.’
      • ‘As well as offering excellent workmanship and using top quality materials and finishes, Custom Kitchens take a fresh and innovative approach to kitchen design.’
      • ‘Gloss finishes are shiny and scrubbable, so they are perfect for doors, trim and specialty uses.’
      veneer, lacquer, lamination, coating, covering, coat
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 The final taste impression of a wine or beer.
      ‘the wine has a lemony tang on the finish’
      • ‘It's a big, bold, toasty style with a lot of power and a lovely dry finish.’
      • ‘The mouth-watering finish is more Sauvignon blanc than Chardonnay in style.’
      • ‘The palate is an opulent offering of warm and delectable flavors that last long into the impressive finish.’
      • ‘It still has a slightly firm finish but this wine scored well with high awards by all tasters.’
      • ‘A moderately smooth drink but with a strange, medicinal finish. -’
      • ‘The finish of the beer is fruity (both from berries and hops), dry, bitter and with a delicious creamy malt note.’
      • ‘It's a big wine, almost in a Bollinger style, with lots of yeasty flavours and a big, bold finish.’
      • ‘Frankly, this ripe, spicy, cassis and berry-fruit red with a fine gamey finish is one of the best on the block, so tuck in.’
      • ‘It is slightly sweet and rich but has a crisp clean acid finish.’
      • ‘Its palate features an array of tantalizing flavors that last long into the cool and crisp finish.’
      • ‘The lingering finish allows you to linger over the flavors of the brandy and natural vanilla.’
      • ‘This joyous, soft, ripe, buttery Chardonnay with a pleasingly ripe nutty finish is a bargain at this price.’
      • ‘This smashing red will not hang around for long either, so if you fancy a gamey, rustic, plummy wine with a seductive, spicy, perfumed finish, move fast.’
      • ‘The smell is of a fine cognac, the taste is of a fine wine and the finish is elegantly long, refined and smooth.’
      • ‘The result is a ripe, juicy, all-purpose Chardonnay with a fine, buttery finish.’
      • ‘Earthy, spicy notes give way to a crunchy palate of light berry fruit with a final rustic finish of mulberry jam.’

Phrases

  • a fight to the finish

    • A fight or contest that ends only with the complete defeat of one of the parties involved.

      • ‘I think he'll fight to the finish and will do everything possible to ensure he doesn't get captured.’
      • ‘With eight days to go until the deadline for offers, it promises to be an interesting fight to the finish.’
      • ‘However, I am proud of the way our whole side performed and stuck in right to the finish.’
      • ‘This was a great team effort with all the players giving it their best right up to the finish.’
      • ‘Overcoming male chauvinism is no easy matter and it will have to be a relentless fight to the finish.’
      • ‘If successful, she could be showing her teeth on TV this September in a fight to the finish.’
      • ‘We fought hard and credit to the lads they never dropped their heads and fought to the finish.’
      • ‘Here again, another little, mini thriller was played out as both teams fought it out to the finish.’
      • ‘He commanded troops in Guangdong and advocated a fight to the finish late in the war.’
      • ‘The game turned out to be a close affair with the sides battling it out right up to the finish.’
      to the end, to the finish, to the termination, to the completion, to the culmination, to a successful conclusion
      View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • finish someone off

    • Kill, destroy, or comprehensively defeat someone.

      • ‘Christopher waits at the cop's home, pops him on the head, then waits for the guy to come to so he can finish him off.’
      • ‘We can use that Air Force and Naval air and really go in and finish him off, if that's the way he wants it to end.’
      • ‘The first two shots weren't enough to kill him so the bullet in the head was to finish him off.’
      • ‘Did he actually think I was going to be willing to let him kill Mike and finish me off before the night was over?’
      • ‘When his friend advises him to finish Nino off as well since she has dishonored herself, he magnanimously refuses.’
      • ‘They tripped over that table over there and finally the second guy came in and finished Danny off.’
      • ‘Like a young Ali, he enjoyed taunting his opponents and destroying their will before finishing them off.’
      • ‘Well, Cináed didn't kill Anaïs, but he nearly did- Ãde just finished her off.’
      • ‘But having wounded him, the media apparently has decided it hasn't quite finished him off.’
      • ‘The point is gradually to isolate the family, weaken them, and then finish them off.’
      • ‘And so he's laying there unconscious, and this guy is about to finish him off when Pete jumped him from behind and tied him up.’
      • ‘He worried that, any day, his wife would figure it out and finish him off by leaving him.’
      • ‘After the Sox had finished them off in 3 games, I attributed my calmness to ‘knowing deep down all along’ that they were going to win.’
      • ‘I was thinking I better make my peace with the big man upstairs, because any second now, they're probably just going to finish me off.’
      • ‘An order is then given to the machinegunner to finish him off (the commentator adds that this is an obvious breach of the Geneva Convention).’
  • finish up

    • 1Complete an action or process.

      ‘he hadn't finished up the paperwork on it’
      • ‘I was going to finish up the taxes tonight, so I thought I'd swing by and get the form.’
      • ‘So after a couple of false starts we finished up and now I had to wait another week.’
      • ‘I was finishing up a diversity call while monitoring the phones at the office today.’
      • ‘Friday night was spent finishing up the artwork for the vinyl version of the album.’
      • ‘Just as I was finishing up, two men came in, apparently thinking they were alone.’
      • ‘I spent some free time tonight finishing up my own project, the monthly family movie.’
      • ‘I was hanging out in my buddy's office today waiting to talk to him as he finished up a phone call.’
      • ‘What do a bunch of tired singers do after finishing up a two-day recording session?’
      • ‘I am finishing up this rally and heading on to another, which is being held by some guy with a shirt.’
      • ‘Just as we finished up, Andy caught up with us, and we headed out for costume shopping.’
      1. 1.1End a period of time or course of action by doing something or being in a particular position.
        ‘Tony started out running the back elevator and finished up as bell captain’
        ‘we finished up with a plate of meats’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French feniss-, lengthened stem of fenir, from Latin finire, from finis ‘end’.

Pronunciation

finish

/ˈfiniSH//ˈfɪnɪʃ/