last word

last word (plural last words)

  1. (idiomatic, often preceded by the and followed by in) The finest, highest, or ultimate representative of some class of objects.
    • 1917, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams, ch. 39:
      Little Joe's mother's cake was the last word in cakes.
    • 1928, D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover, ch. 3:
      Michaelis was the last word in what was caddish and bounderish.
  2. (idiomatic) Concluding remark; final observation, advice, or instructions.
    • 1877, Henry James, The American, ch. 12:
      "I have got my leave, and that is all I want."
      "You had better receive the last word from my mother," said the marquis.
      "Very good; I will go and get it," said Newman.
    • 1918, W. H. Hudson, Far Away and Long Ago, ch. 24:
      [W]hen we had grasped hands for the last time and had said our last good-bye, he added this one more last word: "Of all the people I have ever known you are the only one I don't know."
  3. (often, pluralized) The final statement uttered by a person before death.
    • 1889 Sept. 11, Mark Twain, "Last Words of Great Men ↗," Buffalo Express:
      Benjamin Franklin. . . pondered over his last words for as much as two weeks, and then when the time came, he said, "None but the brave deserve the fair," and died happy.
    • 1912, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World, ch. 7:
      This account I am transmitting down the river by canoe, and it may be our last word to those who are interested in our fate.
  4. (idiomatic) A final decision, or the right to make such a decision.
    • 2008 July 9, Jeff Israely, "[,8599,1821203,00.html Where Is the Afghan Female Runner?]," Time:
      An Afghan Olympic official said the team holds the right to substitute Andyar with another female athlete, though the IOC would have the last word.
  • (finest or ultimate representative): exemplar
  • German: Krone, Nonplusultra
  • Italian: non plus ultra
  • Russian: после́днее сло́во
  • German: letztes Wort
  • Italian: l'ultima parola
  • French: dernière paroles
  • German: letztes Wort
  • Russian: после́днее сло́во
  • German: letztes Wort
  • Russian: после́днее сло́во

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Offline English dictionary