Etymology
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finish (v.)

late 14c., "to bring to an end;" mid-15c., "to come to an end" (intransitive), from Old French finiss-, present participle stem of fenir "stop, finish, come to an end; die" (13c.), from Latin finire "to limit, set bounds; put an end to; come to an end," from finis "that which divides, a boundary, border," figuratively "a limit, an end, close, conclusion; an extremity, highest point; greatest degree," which is of unknown origin, perhaps related to figere "to fasten, fix" (see fix (v.)). Meaning "to kill, terminate the existence of" is from 1755.

finish (n.)

1779, "that which finishes or gives completion," from finish (v.). Meaning "the end" is from 1790. Finish line attested from 1873.

updated on November 07, 2014

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Definitions of finish from WordNet
1
finish (n.)
a decorative texture or appearance of a surface (or the substance that gives it that appearance);
the boat had a metallic finish
he applied a coat of a clear finish
when the finish is too thin it is difficult to apply evenly
Synonyms: coating / finishing
finish (n.)
a highly developed state of perfection; having a flawless or impeccable quality; "almost an inspiration which gives to all work that finish which is almost art"--Joseph Conrad;
finish (n.)
the place designated as the end (as of a race or journey);
a crowd assembled at the finish
Synonyms: destination / goal
finish (n.)
designated event that concludes a contest (especially a race);
excitement grew as the finish neared
the winner is the team with the most points at the finish
my horse was several lengths behind at the finish
finish (n.)
the downfall of someone (as of persons on one side of a conflict);
booze will be the finish of him
it was a fight to the finish
finish (n.)
event whose occurrence ends something;
when these final episodes are broadcast it will be the finish of the show
Synonyms: ending / conclusion
finish (n.)
(wine tasting) the taste of a wine on the back of the tongue (as it is swallowed);
the wine has a nutty flavor and a pleasant finish
finish (n.)
the act of finishing;
the speaker's finishing was greeted with applause
his best finish in a major tournament was third
Synonyms: finishing
finish (n.)
the temporal end; the concluding time;
the market was up at the finish
Synonyms: stopping point / finale / finis / last / conclusion / close
2
finish (v.)
come or bring to a finish or an end; "The fastest runner finished the race in just over 2 hours; others finished in over 4 hours";
He finished the dishes
Synonyms: complete
finish (v.)
finally be or do something;
Synonyms: finish up / land up / fetch up / end up / wind up
finish (v.)
have an end, in a temporal, spatial, or quantitative sense; either spatial or metaphorical;
Synonyms: end / stop / terminate / cease
finish (v.)
provide with a finish;
The carpenter finished the table beautifully
this shirt is not finished properly
finish (v.)
finish eating all the food on one's plate or on the table;
Synonyms: eat up / polish off
finish (v.)
cause to finish a relationship with somebody;
That finished me with Mary
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.