Meaning of “final” in the English Dictionary

"final" in British English

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uk /ˈfaɪ.nəl/ us /ˈfaɪ.nəl/

A2 last:

a final warning/offer
the final chapters of a book
the final years
The game is in its final stages.
in the final analysis

used when you are talking about what is most important or true in a situation:

In the final analysis, it is the drug companies that are going to profit from this policy.
that's final

used to show that you are certain you will not change your decision about something:

I'm not coming and that's final.

More examples

  • The project is in its final stages and should be completed by August.
  • The final figures showed that most departments had stayed within budget.
  • That's my final offer - you can take it or leave it.
  • The runners are now on their final lap of the track.
  • It's up to the manager to make the final decision.


uk /ˈfaɪ.nəl/ us /ˈfaɪ.nəl/

final noun (COMPETITION)

B1 [ C ] the last in a series of games, races, or competitions, usually the one in which the winner is chosen:

Last year we got through to the final.
The men's basketball final will be on Sunday.
the finals [ plural ]

the last set of games in a competition:

Do you think she will make it to the finals this year in the US Open?

More examples

  • Germany are playing against Brazil in the cup final tonight.
  • Arsenal lost the second game, but got through to the final on aggregate.
  • Saturday's 2-0 defeat dashed their hopes of reaching the final.
  • Montgomery drew level with Greene in the 100 metres final, but never passed him.
  • Who won the men's finals in the tennis?

final noun (EXAM)

finals [ plural ] UK

the exams taken at the end of a university or college course:

I'm taking my finals in June.
The finals results have gone up on the noticeboard.

[ C ] US also final exam a test taken on a subject at the end of a school year or college course:

The final exam for this class will be on 21 May.
When is your chemistry/French/algebra final?

(Definition of “final” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"final" in American English

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finaladjective [ not gradable ]

us /ˈfɑɪ·nəl/

final adjective [ not gradable ] (LAST)


The other team scored twice in the final minute.
The recommendation will be sent to the City Council for final approval.
infml I’m not coming and that’s final (= I do not want to discuss it any longer).

finalnoun [ C usually pl ]

us /ˈfɑɪ·nəl/

final noun [ C usually pl ] (COMPETITION)

the last in a series of games, races, or competitions:

The women’s basketball finals will be on Sunday.
noun [ C ] us /ˈfɑɪn·əl·əst/

a finalist for the award

(Definition of “final” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"final" in Business English

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uk /ˈfaɪnəl/ us

last in a series, or happening for the last time:

final payment/instalment/dividend Shareholders will get a final payment of 30.2p a share through the issue of redeemable shares.
final quarter/stage/period Sales jumped in the final quarter, reaching $53.8 million.
final warning/notice/reminder He was fined two weeks' wages and given a final warning about his conduct.
final review/inspection/report The realtor will do a final inspection of the property on Thursday.

completely decided, with no further changes:

Our offer is final.
Once you sign the agreement it's final.
final decision/ruling/judgement The German courts are expected to make a final ruling in September.

the most correct or most complete possible:

final estimate/balance/invoice Any fees already paid will be deducted from the final balance.
final draft/release/version The final draft includes spreadsheets and an updated sales forecast.
final result/product/design Construction will be postponed until the council approves the building's final design.

(Definition of “final” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)