firm

adjective
\ ˈfərm How to pronounce firm (audio) \

Definition of firm

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : securely or solidly fixed in place his teeth were firm
b : not weak or uncertain : vigorous a firm handshake
c : having a solid or compact structure that resists stress or pressure firm apples
2a(1) : not subject to change or revision a firm offer a firm date
(2) : not subject to price weakness : steady firm commodities
b : not easily moved or disturbed : steadfast a firm believer in democracy
c : well-founded firm evidence of criminal activity
3 : indicating firmness or resolution a firm mouth a firm voice

firm

adverb

Definition of firm (Entry 2 of 4)

: in a firm manner : steadfastly, fixedly

firm

verb
firmed; firming; firms

Definition of firm (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to make secure or fast : tighten firming her grip on the racquet often used with up
b : to make solid or compact firm the soil
2 : to put into final form : settle firm a contract firm up plans
3 : to give additional support to : strengthen usually used with up

intransitive verb

1 : to become firm : harden often used with up
2 : to recover from a decline : improve the market is firming

firm

noun

Definition of firm (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : the name or title under which a company transacts business
2 : a partnership of two or more persons that is not recognized as a legal person distinct from the members composing it
3 : a business unit or enterprise

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Other Words from firm

Adjective

firmly adverb
firmness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for firm

Synonyms: Adjective

forceful, hearty, iron, lusty, robust, solid, stout, strong, sturdy, vigorous

Synonyms: Noun

business, company, concern, enterprise, establishment, house, interest, outfit

Antonyms: Adjective

uncertain, weak

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Examples of firm in a Sentence

Adjective

She has a firm grasp of the basic principles. They insist on maintaining firm control over the project. He spoke to her in a soft but firm voice. The time has come for us to take a firm stand. The children need gentle but firm handling.

Noun

merged with another firm to become a major player in the brokerage business
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Alternatively, Rebecca Aced-Molina, a 45-year-old life coach based in Oakland, Calif. created firmer boundaries with her maternity leave in 2004. NBC News, "Business owner Nicole Eiden didn't have to choose between work, family — You don't either," 5 June 2019 The firm’s fee for that project is 6 percent of the construction cost, once that amount is determined. Bob Sandrick, cleveland.com, "Brecksville approves architectural design fee of nearly $500,000 for aquatics center," 4 June 2019 The latest budget submitted to the Sacramento County Office of Education for approval is the handiwork of the firm Fortson Consulting, which was hired in April for as much as $60,000 until its contract expires in June, records show. Michael Finch Ii, sacbee, "Sacramento city schools could save millions on teachers’ health care. Will union play ball?," 4 June 2019 Fast forward a few years and many collections later, and Stanley has a firmer grasp on both her label’s feminine, artistic point of view and its impact. Vogue, "How One Lovely Little Label Gets Made in Delhi, India," 31 May 2019 The floral Erdem designs have proved to be a firm favorite of the royal family (in fact, Erdem is generally a go-to designer for the royals). Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton's Floral Erdem Dress Is a Royal Family Favorite," 21 May 2019 Keep your crib bare except for a firm mattress with a fitted sheet. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "Are Crib Bumpers Safe? Experts Say Not Even Those "Breathable" Mesh Ones Should Be Used," 29 Apr. 2019 But all have stood firm against GOP efforts to take apart the Affordable Care Act. Julie Rovner, Washington Post, "Democrats Rally Against Threats To The ACA To Block Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee," 10 July 2018 With Cavani off injured and Suarez isolated, Portugal piled on the pressure with cross after cross, but the central defensive partnership of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez, forged at Atletico Madrid, stood firm. SI.com, "Messi vs Ronaldo: The Myth of the One-Man Team & the Overwhelming Importance of Trust," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Congratulations to Robyn Denholm, the new chairwoman of Tesla’s board! Denholm got her start at the now-defunct Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm best known for its work shredding Enron’s documents. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Tesla’s new chairwoman is walking into SEC and DOJ probes," 9 Nov. 2018 Invesco will pay for the deal with 81.9 million common shares and another $4 billion in preferred shares, making MassMutual the firm’s largest stockholder. Justin Baer, WSJ, "Invesco to Buy OppenheimerFunds From MassMutual," 18 Oct. 2018 One of that firm’s biggest clients is a company helmed by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Matt Richardson, Fox News, "Michael Cohen-linked firm received big payments from Russian oligarch, report says," 9 May 2018 One of that firm’s biggest clients is a company helmed by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Matt Richardson, Fox News, "Michael Cohen-linked firm received big payments from Russian oligarch, report says," 9 May 2018 One of that firm’s biggest clients is a company helmed by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Matt Richardson, Fox News, "Michael Cohen-linked firm received big payments from Russian oligarch, report says," 9 May 2018 As part of the deal, Sammons became the firm’s largest shareholder. Justin Baer And Margot Patrick, WSJ, "Guggenheim in Talks to Buy Munich Re Asset-Management Operations," 20 June 2018 One of that firm’s biggest clients is a company helmed by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Matt Richardson, Fox News, "Michael Cohen-linked firm received big payments from Russian oligarch, report says," 9 May 2018 One of that firm’s biggest clients is a company helmed by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Matt Richardson, Fox News, "Michael Cohen-linked firm received big payments from Russian oligarch, report says," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Floyd Wilson's Petrohawk Energy pioneered South Texas' Eagle Ford shale, but his predecessor firm Halcon Resources could be on the verge of collapse. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Halcon Resources threatened with NYSE delisting," 4 June 2019 Water well, pour 1 to 2 cups of compost around each plant, and firm the soil gently. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The Secret to Growing the Most Flavorful Eggplants," 27 July 2018 While the research is mixed, oral and topical forms claim to protect skin-cell membranes from free-radical damage, while firming, smoothing and brightening the complexion. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 The inflation measure has shown signs of firming in recent months, with consumer prices rising 2.9% in June from a year earlier. Sarah Chaney, WSJ, "U.S. Producer Prices Tame in July," 9 Aug. 2018 The antioxidant niacinamide helps repair barrier function and fosters a healthy glow, while a pair of active peptides works on toning and firming the skin. Molly Creeden, Vogue, "This New Sex Positive Body Care Line Will Revolutionize Your Bathroom—And Your Bedroom," 15 Nov. 2018 Recently cleared by the FDA, this device can lift and firm breasts without leaving any scars. Jolene Edgar, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything You Need To Know About The Non-Surgical Breast Lift," 17 Aug. 2018 Let the cobbler cool for about 30 minutes to firm up. Rebekah Denn, The Seattle Times, "Food52.com writer Kristen Miglore’s book ‘Genius Desserts’ includes several sweet Seattle specialties," 27 Nov. 2018 The Helsinki summit was firmed up less than three weeks ago. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "Trump's chaotic NATO summit raises stakes for Putin talks in Helsinki," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Three architectural firms have already been chosen to develop separate proposals for that plan, which will be presented to the public in August. Julia Wick, latimes.com, "Essential California: A new face for the La Brea Tar Pits on a changing Wilshire Boulevard," 7 June 2019 Still, software and technology firms remain a bright spot. Christopher Rugaber, Anchorage Daily News, "US hiring slows amid trade tensions and weaker global economy," 7 June 2019 As this legal battle unfolds, police keep pursuing new ways of breaking into cellphones if the owners don’t cooperate — or are enlisting help from technology firms that can do it for them. Jon Schuppe, NBC News, "Give up your password or go to jail: Police push legal boundaries to get into cellphones," 7 June 2019 Cooperative Strategies LLC, an independent consulting firm, is analyzing data in the 2019 feasibility study. Jess Nocera, baltimoresun.com, "Howard schools to begin redistricting process," 7 June 2019 Both firms have grown their businesses through acquisition in recent years. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "UTA in Talks With Paradigm for Potential Merger," 7 June 2019 Endeavor’s action is expected by some observers to agitate the agency landscape, possibly precipitating a domino effect of mergers, acquisitions and consolidations as rival representation firms look to shore up their competitive edge. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, "UTA-Paradigm Deal Chatter Heats Up as Agencies Feel Urge to Merge," 7 June 2019 Board members offered her the position June 6 after an extensive series of interviews coordinated by search firm Finding Leaders. Beth Mlady, cleveland.com, "Berea City School District selects Tracy Wheeler as next superintendent," 7 June 2019 Rising levels of uncertainty about the future path of economic activity appears to be keeping firms from hiring new employees. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "May hiring slowed to a crawl as businesses grapple with trade war fears," 7 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'firm.' 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 firm

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1744, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for firm

Adjective, Adverb, and Verb

Middle English ferm, from Anglo-French, from Latin firmus; akin to Greek thronos chair, throne

Noun

German Firma, from Italian, signature, ultimately from Latin firmare to make firm, confirm, from firmus

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Dictionary Entries near firm

firk

firkin

firlot

firm

firmament

firmament blue

firman

Statistics for firm

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for firm

The first known use of firm was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for firm

firm

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of firm

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: fairly hard or solid : not soft
: set, placed, or attached in a way that is not easily moved
: not weak or uncertain

firm

verb

English Language Learners Definition of firm (Entry 2 of 3)

: to put (something, such as a plan) into a final form
: to make (something) harder or more solid : to make (something) less loose
: to make (something) stronger

firm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of firm (Entry 3 of 3)

: a business organization

firm

adjective
\ ˈfərm How to pronounce firm (audio) \
firmer; firmest

Kids Definition of firm

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : having a solid compact texture firm ground
2 : strong sense 1, vigorous a firm grip
3 : not likely to be changed a firm price
4 : not easily moved or shaken : faithful a firm believer firm friends
5 : showing certainty or determination firm control

Other Words from firm

firmly adverb firmly attached

firm

verb
firmed; firming

Kids Definition of firm (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to make or become hard or solid Gently firm the soil. The gelatin will firm in an hour.
2 : to make more secure or strong She firmed her grip on the racquet.
3 : to put into final form We need to firm our plans.

firm

noun

Kids Definition of firm (Entry 3 of 3)

: business sense 2 an insurance firm

firm

noun

Legal Definition of firm

1 : the name or title under which a company transacts business
2 : a partnership of two or more persons that is not recognized as a legal person distinct from the members composing it
3 : a business unit or enterprise

History and Etymology for firm

German Firma, from Italian, signature, ultimately from Latin firmare to make firm, confirm

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More from Merriam-Webster on firm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with firm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for firm

Spanish Central: Translation of firm

Nglish: Translation of firm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of firm for Arabic Speakers

Comments on firm

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