To finish something is to complete it or bring it to a conclusion. If you finished a race, you completed it — even if you didn’t come in first.

Finishing is about concluding. If you finished a novel, you read the whole thing. Finishing a job means the job is done. This word can also refer to a coating or polish used to make furniture look nicer or fancier. If you say someone has a finished look about them, they don’t actually have a coating or polish, of course — but the effect is the same. They have a clean, cultured, polished appearance.

Definitions of finish
  1. verb
    come or bring to a finish or an end
    “He finished the dishes”
    “The fastest runner finished the race in just over 2 hours”
    “others finished in over 4 hours”
    synonyms: complete
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    finish a game in baseball by protecting a lead
    top, top off
    finish up or conclude
    clear up, finish off, finish up, get through, mop up, polish off, wrap up
    finish a task completely
    see through
    remain with until completion
    finish out, round out
    fill out
    carry out, follow out, follow through, follow up, go through, implement, put through
    pursue to a conclusion or bring to a successful issue
    accomplish, action, carry out, carry through, execute, fulfil, fulfill
    put in effect
    cap off
    finish or complete, as with some decisive action
    follow through or carry out a plan without deviation
    get over
    to bring (a necessary but unpleasant task) to an end
    carry out
    make perfect; bring to perfection
    fulfill sexually
    do, perform
    get (something) done
    complete, discharge, dispatch
    complete or carry out
    type of:
    end, terminate
    bring to an end or halt
  2. verb
    have an end, in a temporal, spatial, or quantitative sense; either spatial or metaphorical
    synonyms: cease, end, stop, terminate
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    begin, start
    have a beginning, in a temporal, spatial, or evaluative sense
    begin, start
    have a beginning characterized in some specified way
    have a beginning, of a temporal event
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    pass away
    go out of existence
    end, at least for a long time
    cut out
    cease operating
    go out
    become extinguished
    adjourn, break up, recess
    close at the end of a session
    disappear, vanish
    cease to exist
    climax, culminate
    end, especially to reach a final or climactic stage
    run out
    become used up; be exhausted
    go, run low, run short
    to be spent or finished
    disappear, go away, vanish
    become invisible or unnoticeable
    close, conclude
    come to a close
    come out, turn out
    result or end
    come to or be at an end
    come to an end
    dematerialise, dematerialize
    become immaterial; disappear
    crown, top
    be the culminating event
    clear, dissipate
    go away or disappear
    bob under
    disappear suddenly, as if under the surface of a body of water
    come out in the end
    work out
    happen in a certain way, leading to, producing, or resulting in a certain outcome, often well
    fizzle, fizzle out, peter out, taper off
    end weakly
    leave off
    come to an end, stop or cease
    expire, run out
    lose validity
  3. verb
    cause to finish a relationship with somebody
    “That finished me with Mary”
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    type of:
    end, terminate
    bring to an end or halt
  4. verb
    finish eating all the food on one's plate or on the table
    synonyms: eat up, polish off
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    put away, tuck away, tuck in
    eat up; usually refers to a considerable quantity of food
    type of:
    take in solid food
  5. verb
    finally be or do something
    synonyms: end up, fetch up, finish up, land up, wind up
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    type of:
    act, move
    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
  6. noun
    the act of finishing
    “his best finish in a major tournament was third”
    “the speaker's finishing was greeted with applause”
    synonyms: finishing
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    beginning, commencement, start
    the act of starting something
    close, closing curtain, finale, finis
    the concluding part of any performance
    type of:
    closing, completion, culmination, mop up, windup
    a concluding action
  7. noun
    the temporal end; the concluding time
    “the market was up at the finish
    synonyms: close, conclusion, finale, finis, last, stopping point
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    type of:
    end, ending
    the point in time at which something ends
  8. noun
    event whose occurrence ends something
    “when these final episodes are broadcast it will be the finish of the show”
    synonyms: conclusion, ending
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    the event consisting of the start of something
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    end, final stage, last
    the concluding parts of an event or occurrence
    final result, outcome, result, resultant, termination
    something that results
    foregone conclusion, matter of course
    an inevitable ending
    demolition, destruction, wipeout
    an event (or the result of an event) that completely destroys something
    Z, omega
    the ending of a series or sequence
    halt, kibosh, stop
    the event of something ending
    triumph, victory
    a successful ending of a struggle or contest
    defeat, licking
    an unsuccessful ending to a struggle or contest
    end game, endgame
    the final stages of a chess game after most of the pieces have been removed from the board
    end game, endgame
    the final stages of an extended process of negotiation
    the end of an enterprise
    the end of something
    the outcome of a complex sequence of events
    the type of treatment received (especially as the result of an agreement)
    the outcome of a game or contest
    (boxing) a victory won on points when no knockout has occurred
    aftermath, consequence
    the outcome of an event especially as relative to an individual
    just deserts, poetic justice
    an outcome in which virtue triumphs over vice (often ironically)
    the termination of employment (by resignation or dismissal)
    sequel, subsequence
    something that follows something else
    the least favorable outcome
    annihilation, disintegration
    total destruction
    eradication, obliteration
    the complete destruction of every trace of something
    depredation, ravage
    (usually plural) a destructive action
    razing, wrecking
    the event of a structure being completely demolished and leveled
    ruin, ruination
    an event that results in destruction
    rack, wrack
    the destruction or collapse of something
    a victory (as in a race or other competition)
    cessation, surcease
    a stopping
    stand, standstill, tie-up
    an interruption of normal activity
    fall, pin
    when a wrestler's shoulders are forced to the mat
    the successful ending of the American Revolution
    an overwhelming electoral victory
    last laugh
    ultimate success achieved after a near failure (inspired by the saying `he laughs best who laughs last')
    Pyrrhic victory
    a victory that is won by incurring terrible losses
    slam, sweep
    winning all or all but one of the tricks in bridge
    complete victory
    blowout, laugher, romp, runaway, shoo-in, walkaway
    an easy victory
    service break
    a tennis game won on the opponent's service
    walk-in, waltz
    an assured victory (especially in an election)
    a narrow defeat or a defeat at the last minute
    a decisive defeat in a game (especially in cribbage)
    an overwhelming defeat
    shutout, skunk
    a defeat in a game where one side fails to score
    debacle, drubbing, slaughter, thrashing, trouncing, walloping, whipping
    a sound defeat
    a final crushing defeat
    a defeat in which the losing person or team fails to score
    type of:
    happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
    an event that happens
  9. noun
    designated event that concludes a contest (especially a race)
    “excitement grew as the finish neared”
    “my horse was several lengths behind at the finish
    “the winner is the team with the most points at the finish
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    draw, standoff, tie
    the finish of a contest in which the score is tied and the winner is undecided
    photo finish
    in general, any very close finish; in particular, a finish of a race in which the contestants are so close together that the winner must be determined from a photograph taken at the instant of finishing
    runner-up finish, second-place finish
    a finish in second place (as in a race)
    third-place finish
    a finish in third place (as in a race)
    dead heat
    a tie in a race
    drawing position in chess: any of a player's possible moves would place his king in check
    type of:
    happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
    an event that happens
  10. noun
    the place designated as the end (as of a race or journey)
    “a crowd assembled at the finish
    synonyms: destination, goal
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    finish line, finishing line
    a line indicating the location of the finish of a race
    the finishing line for a foot race
    the finishing line on a racetrack
    type of:
    end, terminal
    either extremity of something that has length
  11. noun
    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
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    type of:
    downfall, ruin, ruination
    failure that results in a loss of position or reputation
  12. verb
    provide with a finish
    “The carpenter finished the table beautifully”
    “this shirt is not finished properly”
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    put a finish on
    finish with a broom
    type of:
    coat, surface
    put a coat on; cover the surface of; furnish with a surface
  13. noun
    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
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    a coating for ceramics, metal, etc.
    a shiny finish put on shoes with polish and buffing
    luster, lustre
    a surface coating for ceramics or porcelain
    type of:
    an appearance that serves to decorate and make something more attractive
  14. noun
    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”
    synonyms: cultivation, culture, polish, refinement
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    type of:
    flawlessness, ne plus ultra, perfection
    the state of being without a flaw or defect
  15. noun
    (wine tasting) the taste of a wine on the back of the tongue (as it is swallowed)
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    type of:
    gustatory perception, gustatory sensation, taste, taste perception, taste sensation
    the sensation that results when taste buds in the tongue and throat convey information about the chemical composition of a soluble stimulus
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