v. fin·ished, fin·ish·ing, fin·ish·es
a. To stop (doing an activity or task) after reaching the point at which there is nothing left to do: finished cleaning the room.
b. To bring to a required or desired state: finish an assignment; finish a painting. See Synonyms at complete.
a. To arrive at or attain the end of: finish a race.
b. Sports To perform the last maneuver in (an offensive play), scoring a goal.
3. To consume all of; use up: finish a pie; finished off the pizza.
4. To give (wood, for example) a desired or particular surface texture.
5. To destroy; kill: finished the injured horse with a bullet.
6. To bring about the ruin of: The stock market crash finished many speculators.
1. To come to an end; stop: a story that finishes with a twist.
2. To reach the end of a task, course, or relationship: The speaker finished with a rousing call to action.
3. Sports To score a goal as the last maneuver in a play: a good forward who just can't seem to finish.
1. The final part; the conclusion: racers neck-and-neck at the finish.
2. The reason for one's ruin; downfall: Stealing the computer codes proved to be his finish.
3. Something that completes, concludes, or perfects, especially:
a. The last treatment or coating of a surface: applied a shellac finish to the cabinet.
b. The surface texture produced by such a treatment or coating.
c. A material used in surfacing or finishing.
4. Completeness, refinement, or smoothness of execution; polish.
5. The flavor left in the mouth after wine has been swallowed.
finish with (someone)
To stop interacting with (someone), especially to stop subjecting (someone) to something.
[Middle English finishen, from Old French finir, finiss-, to complete, from Latin fīnīre, from fīnis, end.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 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.