last word, to have the(redirected from to have the last word)
have the last word
To say the final words in an argument or discussion, especially one that decisively or conclusively ends it. Everyone started shouting, trying to have the last word, and the whole meeting just descended into chaos. David is so smug, making a point to have the last word in every debate.
have the last word1 make or have the right to make the final decision or pronouncement about something. 2 carry out a final and conclusive action in a process or course of events.
have the last ˈwordmake the final point in a discussion or an argument: She always likes to have the last word in any argument.
last word, to have the
To have the final say in a decision, or the closing rejoinder in a debate. This term is very old indeed, dating from the sixteenth century. One version, by Ben Jonson in his play A Tale of a Tub (1633), became a proverb: “He will have the last word though he talk bilk for it.—Bilk! What’s that?—Why nothing: a word signifying Nothing; and borrowed here to express nothing.” More recently, the New York Times played on the expression in a headline over an article about lexicographers: “In Land of Lexicons, Having the Last Word” (March 19, 2005).