What does a "finish line" mean in English? Is it the line that the runner must be the first one to cross in order to win the competition? If yes, then how is the last straight leg of the racing route is called?

I am a bit confused here because in my first language the term "finish line" refers to the final straight stretch of the route that the runner must pass before completion, that is, the straight road having no turns (usually a route would contain many turns) and leading to the very end of the route.

  • I would use home stretch, although that doesn't have to be straight. (AmE)
    – user3169
    Aug 13, 2018 at 18:12

3 Answers 3


The finish line is the line you cross to complete the race.

You could also consider the home stretch. Notice that it's also used figuratively.

  • Definition of homestretch
    1 : the part of a racecourse between the last turn and the winning post
    2 : a final stage
  • the home stretch
    The final portion of an activity, project, competition, etc. Likened to the straightaway at the end of a race. The bulk of the work is behind us now—we're on the home stretch!

Yes, the "finish line" is the line you must cross to win the race.

The last part of a race is called the "final stretch" or the "last leg".


The finish line is the line that marks the end of the race. The first to cross the finish line is the winner.

The straight part of the race before the finish line is called the "final straight", or (particularly in the US) the "home straight".

Both of these terms are also used metaphorically.

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