c. 1200, "last, final," superlative of late. From 1590s as "most recent." As a noun, 1520s, "the last in order." Colloquial the latest "the news" attested from 1886. At the latest "at the most distant date" is from 1884.
last section of the abdomen of a crustacean, 1855, from Greek telson "a limit, boundary" (see tele-).
early 15c., "outermost, farthest;" also "utter, total, in greatest degree" (opposed to moderate), from Old French extreme (13c.), from Latin extremus "outermost, utmost, farthest, last; the last part; extremity, boundary; highest or greatest degree," superlative of exterus (see exterior). In English as in Latin, not always felt as a superlative, hence more extreme, most extreme (which were condemned by Johnson). Extreme unction preserves the otherwise extinct sense of "last, latest" (15c.).
mid-15c., posthumus, "born after the death of the originator" (author or father), from Late Latin posthumus, from Latin postumus "last," especially "last-born," superlative of posterus "coming after, subsequent" (see posterior). Altered in Late Latin by association with Latin humare "to bury," suggesting death; the one born after the father is in the ground obviously being his last. An Old English word for this was æfterboren, literally "after-born." Related: Posthumously.
1610s, shortening of antepenultima "last syllable but two in a word" (1580s); see antepenultimate.
nineteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, from Hebrew taw, last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, literally "sign, mark."
early 14c., from Old French final "final, last," and directly from Late Latin finalis "of or pertaining to an end, concluding, final," from finis "end" (see finish (v.)). As a noun, late 14c., "that which comes last;" meaning "final contest" in a sporting sense is from 1880. As a shortening of final examination, from 1880.