v. & n.
v. 1 tr. a (often foll. by off) bring to an end; come to the end of; complete. b (usu. foll. by off) colloq. kill; overcome completely. c (often foll. by off, up) consume or get through the whole or the remainder of (food or drink) (finish up your dinner). 2 intr. a come to an end, cease. b reach the end, esp. of a race. c = finish up. 3 tr. a complete the manufacture of (cloth, woodwork, etc.) by surface treatment. b put the final touches to; make perfect or highly accomplished (finished manners). c prepare (a girl) for entry into fashionable society.
n. 1 a the end, the last stage. b the point at which a race etc. ends. c the death of a fox in a hunt (be in at the finish). 2 a method, material, or texture used for surface treatment of wood, cloth, etc. (mahogany finish). 3 what serves to give completeness. 4 an accomplished or completed state. fight to a finish fight till one party is completely beaten. finishing-school a private college where girls are prepared for entry into fashionable society. finish off provide with an ending. finish up (often foll. by in, by) end in something, end by doing something (he finished up last in the race; the plan finished up in the waste-paper basket; finished up by apologizing). finish with have no more to do with, complete one's use of or association with.
[ ME f. OF fenir f. L finire f. finis end ]