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1. To finish the last part of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "finish" and "off." Here, take the last piece and finish off the pie. Printing is the last step in finishing off this project, thank goodness.
2. To end something in a particular way. A noun or pronoun can be used between "finish" and "off." They finished off the reception with one last slow dance.
3. To kill someone or something that is wounded and near death. A noun or pronoun can be used between "finish" and "off." You need to finish off the deer you've shot—don't let it suffer.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
finish (someone or an animal) off
to kill someone or an animal that is already injured or wounded. They had to finish the wounded bear off with a revolver. The hunter finished off the bear.
finish (something) off (with something)
to bring something to a conclusion with something. She finished the dinner off with fancy cheeses and fruit. She finished off the dinner with pie.
finish someone or something off
Fig. to complete some activity being performed on someone or something. Let's finish this one off and go home. Yes, let's finish off this one. Nancy is cutting Elaine's hair. When she finishes her off, she will be ready to leave.
finish something off
Fig. to eat or drink up all of something; to eat or drink up the last portion of something. Let's finish the turkey off. You finish off the turkey. I've had enough.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To complete the last part of a task or process: The staff finished off the final items on the agenda and ended the meeting. The crew finished the cleaning tasks off before leaving for the day.
2. To consume the last part of something, such as food or a resource: I finished off that last piece of bread. We finished the cake off.
3. To finish something in a particular way: We finished off the hot day with one final swim. The teacher finished the semester off with a big party.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.