\ˈfər \

Definition of fir 

1 : any of a genus (Abies) of north temperate evergreen trees of the pine family that have flattish leaves, circular leaf scars, and erect female cones and are valued for their wood also : any of various conifers (such as the Douglas fir) of other genera

2 : the wood of a fir

Examples of fir in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Nothing says holiday season like the smell of fresh fir trees. Anny Choi, Vogue, "Christmas Tree Ornaments So Fabulous You’ll Want to Admire Them All Year Long," 5 Dec. 2018 Even better, the fresh firs will be eligible for two-day shipping for Prime members. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "You Can Buy Your Real Christmas Tree From Amazon This Year," 12 Sep. 2018 Legend has it that Boniface, a Benedictine monk, used the triangular shape of a fir tree to explain the Holy Trinity to pagans in Germany. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Those Upside-Down Christmas Trees Everyone's Flipping for Actually Go Way Back," 25 Sep. 2018 In Spokane last week, a thick, gray fog draped the sky, obscuring the view of Mount Spokane and the fir trees that dot the skyline here. Jim Carlton And Nour Malas, WSJ, "How Air in the Pacific Northwest Became Dirtier Than Beijing’s," 29 Aug. 2018 The trail Matheny got lost on is a short walk through meadows and tall fir trees to Blue Lake, according to the Washington Trails Association, where hikers can access other trails and ridges that lead to views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Hiker lost on Mount St. Helens survived by eating bees and berries: reports," 16 Aug. 2018 The fire is now moving west of Redding and into heavier fuels like pine, fir, and cedar trees. Umair Irfan, Vox, "How the Carr Fire became one of the most destructive fires in California history," 1 Aug. 2018 Around them there seemed to be an infinite sampling of vegetation: ferns and clover and scrub and bracken giving way to maples and firs and oaks and hemlocks covered in lichen and moss. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, "Fungus," 4 June 2017 Picchetti Leslie’s Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($89.95): Verdant and savory, the Leslie’s Estate Cabernet is redolent of fir needles, pine sap, fresh mint, cassis and salt and pepper. Bryce Wiatrak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Tasting Notes: The wines of Montebello Road," 28 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fir.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fir

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fir

Middle English, from Old English fyrh; akin to Old High German forha fir, Latin quercus oak

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Dictionary Entries near fir


fipple flute



fir balsam



Statistics for fir

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for fir

The first known use of fir was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for fir



English Language Learners Definition of fir

: a tall evergreen tree

: the wood of a fir tree


\ˈfər \

Kids Definition of fir

: a tall evergreen tree related to the pine that yields useful lumber


\ˈfər \

Medical Definition of fir 

: any tree of the genus Abies — see balsam fir

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More from Merriam-Webster on fir

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fir

Spanish Central: Translation of fir

Nglish: Translation of fir for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fir for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fir

Comments on fir

What made you want to look up fir? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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