last 1 (lăst)
1. Being, coming, or placed after all others; final: the last game of the season.
2. Being the only one left: his last nickel; as a last resort.
3. Just past; most recent: last year; the last time I checked.
4. Most up-to-date; newest: the last thing in swimwear.
5. Highest in extent or degree; utmost: to the last measure of human endurance.
6. Most valid, authoritative, or conclusive: The arbiter will have the last say in resolving this dispute.
a. Least likely or expected: the last person we would have suspected.
b. The least desirable or suitable: the last man for the job.
8. Being the latest possible: waited until the last second before boarding the train.
9. Lowest in rank or importance: last prize; last place.
10. Used as an intensive: Every last dollar was donated to charity.
a. Of or relating to a terminal period or stage, as of life: the last days of the dinosaurs.
b. Administered just before death: the last sacraments.
1. After all others in chronology or sequence: arrived last.
2. Most recently: a fashion last popular in the 1940s.
3. At the end; finally: Add the butter last.
1. One that is at the end or last: the last to be chosen; on every page but the last.
2. The end: held out until the last.
3. The final mention or appearance: haven't seen the last of our troubles.
After a considerable length of time; finally.
at long last
After a lengthy or troublesome wait or delay: At long last the winter was over.
[Middle English, from Old English latost, superlative of læt, late; see lē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: last1, final, terminal, ultimate
These adjectives mean coming after all others in chronology or sequence. Last applies to what comes at the end of a series: the last day of the month. Something final stresses the definitiveness and decisiveness of the conclusion: Somehow he always seems to get the final word in what we end up doing. Terminal applies to what marks or forms a limit or boundary, as in space, time, or development: That railroad's terminal city is a town with a large harbor. Ultimate applies to what concludes a series, process, or progression or constitutes a final result or objective: the ultimate sonata of that opus; our ultimate goal; the ultimate effect.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.