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finish (something) on a high note

To finish, complete, or leave (something) at a successful, impressive, or climactic point. I know we've had quite a few losses this season, but let's win this last game and finish on a high note! After winning the Oscar, she decided to finish her career on a high note.
See also: finish, high, note, on

Garrison finish

The end of a competition in which one participant comes from behind at the last minute to win. The phrase refers to US jockey Edward "Snapper" Garrison, who was known for securing such last-minute victories. That race sure had a Garrison finish—one of the runners came all the way from fifth place to win!
See also: finish

ahead of schedule

Earlier than a given deadline. Since the contractor and his crew completed the renovations ahead of schedule, we were able to move into the house before winter arrived. Repaying your loan ahead of schedule will save you money in the long term by reducing the amount of interest you'll have to pay.
See also: ahead, of, schedule

finish off

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.
See also: finish, off

*ahead of schedule

Fig. having done something before the time given on a schedule or before the expected time. (*Typically: be ~; finish ~.) I want to be able to finish the job ahead of schedule.
See also: ahead, of, schedule

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.
See also: finish, off

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.
See also: finish, off

finish someone or something up

Fig. to finish doing something to someone or something. I will finish this typing up in a few minutes. She finished up Fred in a short time.
See also: finish, up


(something) by doing something to bring something to a conclusion by doing something. She finished the lecture by naming her sources. Sharon finished by reading a poem.

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.
See also: finish, off

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.
See also: finish, off

finish with something

to complete something; to become done with something. I will finish with fixing this soon, and then you can have it. When will this be finished with?
See also: finish

finishing touch(es)

a final adjustment of something; some effort or action that completes something. Norm is in his workshop putting the finishing touches on his latest project.
See also: finish, touch

from start to finish

Fig. entirely; throughout. I disliked the whole business from start to finish. Mary caused problems from start to finish.
See also: finish, start

Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.

Prov. A reply to someone who wants you to do a task for which you lack the equipment. How am I supposed to wash the upstairs windows without a ladder? Give us the tools, and we will finish the job!
See also: and, finish, give, job, we, will

He who begins many things, finishes but few.

Prov. If you start a lot of projects, you will not have time and energy to complete them all. (Can be used to warn someone against starting too many projects.) Sarah's room is littered with sweaters and mittens she started to knit but never finished, a testament to the fact that she who begins many things, finishes but few.
See also: begin, but, few, finish, he, many, who

*lick and a promise

Fig. a hasty bit of work; a quick once-over. (*Typically: finish something with ~; give something ~.) I was pressed for time, so I just gave the housework a lick and a promise. Mary spent so much time on her history paper that she had to finish her math homework with a lick and a promise.
See also: and, lick, promise

Nice guys finish last.

Prov. You will never be able to get what you want by being kind and considerate. The unscrupulous salesman advised his trainees, "Don't worry if you have to lie about the product to get the customer to buy it. Nice guys finish last."
See also: finish, guy, last, nice

finishing touch

A small change or addition that serves to complete something. For example, The room still needed a few finishing touches, such as a flower arrangement. This expression is sometimes put as a finishing stroke. [c. 1700]
See also: finish, touch

from soup to nuts

Also, from A to Z or start to finish or stem to stern . From beginning to end, throughout, as in We went through the whole agenda, from soup to nuts, or She had to learn a whole new system from A to Z, or It rained from start to finish, or We did over the whole house from stem to stern. The first expression, with its analogy to the first and last courses of a meal, appeared in slightly different forms (such as from potage to cheese) from the 1500s on; the precise wording here dates only from the mid-1900s. The second expression alludes to the first and last letters of the Roman alphabet; see also alpha and omega. The third comes from racing and alludes to the entire course of the race; it dates from the mid-1800s. The last variant is nautical, alluding to the front or stem, and rear or stern, of a vessel.
See also: nuts, soup

in at the death

Also, in at the finish or kill . Involved in or present at the end, especially a disastrous end but sometimes merely the climax of an important event. For example, He had a hand in their breakup, but he didn't want to be in at the death, or They've done really well this year, and we want to be in at the kill. These expressions originally alluded to hunters and hounds being present at the death of a fox they had run to ground. [First half of 1700s]
See also: death

nice guys finish last

People say nice guys finish last to mean that people who behave in a fair and pleasant way will not be successful in a competitive situation. Our culture rewards aggressive types — after all, we all know nice guys finish last.
See also: finish, guy, last, nice

a fight to the finish

a fight, contest, or match which only ends with the complete defeat of one of the parties involved.
See also: fight, finish

from soup to nuts

from beginning to end; completely. North American informal
Soup is likely to feature as the first course of a formal meal, while a selection of nuts may be offered as the final one.
See also: nuts, soup

be in at the ˈfinish

be present when something ends: I was one of the first people on this project and I certainly want to be in at the finish.
See also: finish

the finishing ˈtouch(es)

the final details that make something complete: We’ve been putting the finishing touches to the party decorations.
See also: finish, touch

from ˌsoup to ˈnuts

(American English, informal) from beginning to end: She told me the whole story from soup to nuts.
This refers to a long meal that often begins with soup and ends with nuts.
See also: nuts, soup

finish off

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.
See also: finish, off

finish up

1. To conclude something; bring something to an end: We finished up dinner and took the dirty dishes to the kitchen. The council finished the meeting up by stating when the next meeting would occur.
2. To conclude; end: The meeting finished up at 11:00. Finish up reading your book, already—it's late!
See also: finish, up

lick and a promise

A superficial effort made without care or enthusiasm.
See also: and, lick, promise

lick and a promise

A superficial effort. Rather than wash themselves thoroughly to their parents' satisfaction, youngsters who were in a rush would splash on a little water and say they'd do a better job later. The phrase was extended to apply to any fast and incomplete job.
See also: and, lick, promise
References in periodicals archive ?
Chemspec and RPM Wood Finishes Group are both members of RPM, a $2 billion world provider of specialty coatings.
Spray fireproofing accounts for nearly 70% of all special finishes work today.
The new finishes are also extremely hard, durable, resistant to chemicals, scrind of visually-dazzling finish, and its superior strength and durability will also add substantial economic rogram designed to help its craftspeople acquire the special skills needed to apply the new polyester finishquipment manufacturers.
Kanaan won the Texas race in June and is riding a streak of 14 consecutive top-five finishes.
She traded first-place finishes with teammate Jennifer Hernandez for much of the season but when it came to defending her City Section individual title, there was no stopping Hartel.
Michael Blanchard, Michael Craft, Sam Duimovich, Nolan Koon, Kevin Nielsen and Jonnie Pare helped the Lions to top-eight finishes in all three relays, in addition to clocking some of the region's fastest times in their individual swims.
Kenseth grabbed two third place finishes and seven top tens, in just 21 starts, and finished second in the rookie of the year battle.
Southwell, a Canyon High and College of the Canyons graduate, posted third- and 25th-place finishes in the NASCAR Super Late Model twin 50 races.
In four Truck Series races at Las Vegas, Hornaday has recorded three top-five finishes.
Immersion silver is a leader among the emerging surface finishes for high density interconnects.
Teaney, who is competing in his first FLW Tour season, has five top-10 finishes to his credit in the EverStart Series and the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League.
Pre-catalyzed finishes reduce waste by decreasing the number of finish coats necessary on dining room tabletops --the major product manufactured at the Erie County facility.
It will be a long day for some of the event's earliest challengers, whether the tournament finishes by tonight or not.
Mold-Tech and Roehlen surface finishes are used to texturize the surface of the molds used in the manufacture of all types of molded products, including automobiles, consumer goods, architectural paneling and industrial parts.