from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To arrive at or attain the end of: finish a race.
  • transitive v. To bring to an end; terminate: finished cleaning the room.
  • transitive v. To consume all of; use up: finish a pie.
  • transitive v. To bring to a desired or required state: finish a painting. See Synonyms at complete.
  • transitive v. To give (wood, for example) a desired or particular surface texture.
  • transitive v. To destroy; kill: finished the injured horse with a bullet.
  • transitive v. To bring about the ruin of: The stock market crash finished many speculators.
  • intransitive v. To come to an end; stop.
  • intransitive v. To reach the end of a task, course, or relationship.
  • n. The final part; the conclusion: racers neck-and-neck at the finish.
  • n. The reason for one's ruin; downfall.
  • n. Something that completes, concludes, or perfects, especially:
  • n. The last treatment or coating of a surface: applied a shellac finish to the cabinet.
  • n. The surface texture produced by such a treatment or coating.
  • n. A material used in surfacing or finishing.
  • n. Completeness, refinement, or smoothness of execution; polish.
  • n. The flavor left in the mouth after wine has been swallowed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An end: the end of anything.
  • n. A protective coating given to wood or metal and other surfaces.
  • n. The result of any process changing the physical or chemical properties of cloth.
  • n. A shot on goal, especially one that ends in a goal.
  • v. To complete (something).
  • v. To apply a treatment to (a surface or similar).
  • v. To change an animal's food supply in the months before it is due for slaughter, with the intention of fattening the animal.
  • v. To come to an end.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which finishes, puts an end to� or perfects.
  • n. The joiner work and other finer work required for the completion of a building, especially of the interior. See Inside finish, and Outside finish.
  • n.
  • n. The labor required to give final completion to any work; hence, minute detail, careful elaboration, or the like.
  • n. See Finishing coat, under Finishing.
  • n. The result of completed labor, as on the surface of an object; manner or style of finishing
  • n. Completion; -- opposed to start, or beginning.
  • intransitive v. To come to an end; to terminate.
  • intransitive v. To end; to die.
  • transitive v. To arrive at the end of; to bring to an end; to put an end to; to make an end of; to terminate.
  • transitive v. To bestow the last required labor upon; to complete; to bestow the utmost possible labor upon; to perfect; to accomplish; to polish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bring to an end; arrive at the end of; complete by passing throughout the length or extent of: as, to finish a journey or an undertaking; to finish the day; to finish one's life.
  • To bring to completion; complete by making or doing the last or final part of: as, to finish the reading of a book; to finish a task assigned; to finish a house.
  • To put an end to; terminate the existence, opposition, etc., of; destroy: as, to finish an enemy by an overwhelming defeat; the last blow finished him.
  • To complete and perfect in detail; elaborate carefully; put the final touches on, especially with reference to smoothing and polishing.
  • To arrive at the end; stop.
  • To come to an end; terminate; expire.
  • n. The end or last part of any movement or progress; especially, the end of a race or competitive contest of any kind.
  • n. The last work performed upon any object, whereby it is completed or perfected.
  • n. Careful elaboration or its result; polish: as, the finish of a work of art, a poem, or a piece of cloth; to put a fine finish on anything, or to give it an exquisite finish; finish in deportment.
  • n. The last hard, smooth coat of plaster on a wall: commonly called hard-finish.
  • n. In building, all those parts of the work which are not essential to the structure but are intended to give elegance of appearance or neatness within, or such smoothness of surface as makes it easily cleaned.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. designated event that concludes a contest (especially a race)
  • n. the act of finishing
  • v. come or bring to a finish or an end
  • v. finish eating all the food on one's plate or on the table
  • v. provide with a finish
  • n. (wine tasting) the taste of a wine on the back of the tongue (as it is swallowed)
  • n. a decorative texture or appearance of a surface (or the substance that gives it that appearance)
  • n. the place designated as the end (as of a race or journey)
  • n. event whose occurrence ends something
  • n. the temporal end; the concluding time
  • v. cause to finish a relationship with somebody
  • n. a highly developed state of perfection; having a flawless or impeccable quality
  • v. have an end, in a temporal, spatial, or quantitative sense; either spatial or metaphorical
  • n. the downfall of someone (as of persons on one side of a conflict)
  • v. finally be or do something


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English finishen, from Old French finir, finiss-, to complete, from Latin fīnīre, from fīnis, end.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French finiss-, stem of some of the conjugated forms of finir, from Latin fīnīre, present active infinitive of fīniō.


  • Tomorrow a kid can go to the same school and and finish the year and go back in Sept or August and still lbe illiterate..finish that year and still not be able to read a newspaper.

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  • First, in my efforts to finish reading thirty books by the end of the year, I decided to *finish* reading this book.

    If music be the food of love...

  • Either way, I'm not too worried, regardless of whether he stays or goes, he's in the best form he's been in for a long time and appears to be the main player urging us over the title finish line.

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  • Additionally, each player or team has a token that moves across the game board and the first one to the finish is the winner.

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  • Whether or not they sprint to the finish is a question for the next six furlongs … make that weeks.

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  • Hyderabad: Saina Nehwal's hopes of a title finish at home were dashed by Malaysian Julia Wong Pei Xian in a thrilling quarterfinal encounter of the Yonex-Sunrise Indian Open badminton here Friday.

  • Saina Nehwal's hopes of a title finish at home were dashed by Malaysian Julia Wong Pei Xian in a thrilling quarterfinal encounter of the Yonex-Sunrise Indian Open badminton here Friday.

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  • And maybe that kind of finish is in the cards for him, too.

  • 'move over' and have the term finish / come up for renewal, at the same time my current tariff was due to expire anyway.

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  • The Cougars will likely be a unanimous pick to again finish last in the conference, having gone 1-17 the last two years — the one win being the only time the Cougars came within double-digits of a conference opponent.

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  • Pterodactyl:

    This word in your list should be pronounced with the i as in fine...

    How are you, John? - Hum, finish, thanks

    March 13, 2008