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[fin-ee-uh l, fahy-nee-] /ˈfɪn i əl, ˈfaɪ ni-/
Architecture. a relatively small, ornamental, terminal feature at the top of a gable, pinnacle, etc.
an ornamental termination to the top of a piece of furniture, or of one part of such a piece.
Typography. a curve terminating the main stroke of the characters in some italic fonts.
Origin of finial
1400-50; late Middle English, derivative of Latin fīnis end; see -al1
Related forms
finialed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for finial
  • The information will still be fresh in mind for the finial exam.
  • They fashioned the main dome and its solid gold finial, the mosaics, the calligraphy and the intricate marble flowers.
  • finial spent the time since then attempting to perfect it.
  • The damaged portions were carefully restored except for a finial on the steeple.
  • After the roof was set in place, two workers were lifted by a basket to place the finial piece on top of the roof to cap it off.
  • The house retains its patterned and scalloped roof, a finial and elaborate molded wood cornice and dormers.
  • The cracked finial atop the pyramid repaired, and exterior around clocks cleaned.
  • Each pillar has a convex, molded pyramidal cap with a round finial and a height of fourteen feet.
  • In lieu of mitered corners, a square post is installed which has a finial on its top.
  • The eight-sided conical spire is sheathed in shingles and is completed with a copper ball finial at its apex.
British Dictionary definitions for finial


an ornament on top of a spire, gable, etc, esp in the form of a foliated fleur-de-lys
an ornament at the top of a piece of furniture, etc
Derived Forms
finialed, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from finial (adj), variant of final
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for finial

"ornament at the top of a spire, gable, etc.," mid-15c., from fyniall "putting an end to, binding" (early 15c.), a variant of final.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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