Meaning of “finish sth off” in the English Dictionary

"finish sth off" in British English

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finish sth off

phrasal verb with finish uk /ˈfɪn.ɪʃ/ us /ˈfɪn.ɪʃ/ verb


B2 to complete the last part of something that you are doing:

I want to finish off this essay before I go to bed.

More examples

  • The decorating is virtually finished - I just need to finish off the painting.
  • I'll have to take this work home and finish it off tonight.
  • Can you finish off this crossword for me? I'm stuck.
  • She has a habit of finishing off other people's sentences.
  • If you finish off that essay tonight, you'll be able to relax and enjoy the weekend.


to eat, drink, or use the last part of something:

We may as well finish off this wine - there's only a little bit left.

More examples

  • "Go on, finish off this tart, Paul." "Well, it seems a shame to let it go to waste."
  • He finished off his pint and stood up to leave.
  • There is a little paint left in this can, so let's finish that off first.
  • When I've finished the pullover, I might finish off the rest of the wool by making some gloves.
  • They've finished off all the bricks, but there's still another wall to build.

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