\ 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



Definition of firm (Entry 2 of 4)

: in a firm manner : steadfastly, fixedly


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



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


firmly adverb
firmness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for firm

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 And Fortune reported recently that despite the pandemic, the firm plans to offer the majority of its 1,500 interns full-time positions at the end of the summer. Lance Lambert, Fortune, "Looking for a job in finance? These Fortune 500 banks have the most job openings," 4 Aug. 2020 With the Öhlins in their middle setting, the ride was firm but not brutal. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2021 Polestar 2 Goes Light on Style, Big on Tech," 3 Aug. 2020 Location data from firm SafeGraph, which collects pings from cellphones, shows that people in the region were staying at home more, earlier, than much of the rest of the state. Washington Post, "San Francisco flattened the curve early. Now, coronavirus cases are surging.," 2 Aug. 2020 But Reyes held firm against conceding and began fundraising for a potential recount while waiting for the state party canvass. Patrick Svitek, ExpressNews.com, "Raul Reyes seeking recount in Republican runoff against Tony Gonzales for U.S. Rep. Will Hurd’s seat," 2 Aug. 2020 Reduce heat, partially cover pot and simmer until lentils are slightly firm but tender, about 20 minutes. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, "Cooking at home a lot? Cool off with this summer lentil salad," 31 July 2020 That’s been another sub-topic of the summer and there still aren’t any firm plans out there. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "What new SEC schedule means for Alabama, questions that remain," 30 July 2020 Those troops returning to the U.S. would be part of future rotational deployments to places such as Poland, the Baltic states, and the Black Sea region of southeastern Europe, but no firm plans were announced. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Troop withdrawal from Germany a risky win for rotational troop approach, says Heritage scholar," 30 July 2020 Especially memorable was his firm belief of a China-India conflict based on the existing Chinese maps, which showed Chinese boundaries including India’s territory. WSJ, "Be Very Wary of China’s Aspirational Cartography," 25 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb After graduating from Yale University in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture (later converted to a master’s degree according to Jack Jr.,) Bialosky Sr. founded the firm now known as Bialosky Cleveland. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Cleveland architect Jack Bialosky, Sr., a designer of elegant modern houses that reshaped suburbs, has died at age 94," 17 Apr. 2020 Another prominent original occupant — the trust company occupied about half the building — was the Los Angeles law firm now known as O’Melveny & Myers. Los Angeles Times, "Spring Street’s revival spreads to a downtown landmark: the Trust Building," 20 Sep. 2019 Two law firms, Marchena and Graham and the former Broad & Cassel law firm now known as Nelson Mullins received the bulk of the payments. Beth Kassab, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando airport committee leans toward in-house staff attorney," 18 Sep. 2019 Morse is one of Michigan's most visible attorneys with TV spots and billboard ads that call his personal injury law firm the largest in the state. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Judge: Attorney Mike Morse 'at the very center' of no-fault scheme," 3 July 2019 Big-name attorney Morse is one of Michigan's most visible attorneys with TV spots and billboard ads that call his personal injury law firm the largest in the state. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Claim: My husband helped attorney Mike Morse hide MRI center money," 19 June 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The guidance is the latest development in a saga that has left international students and their institutions scrambling to firm up fall plans. Henry Ren And Xurui Tan, USA TODAY, "Under ICE rules and visa complications, a semester with no new international students awaits," 30 July 2020 So when the robot's foot meets the ground, the boot can firm up and matches the shape of the ground beneath. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How Coffee Grounds Can Help Robots Traverse Uneven Terrain," 3 June 2020 The last step is to crack an egg or two into noodles, cover and allow the whites to firm up. Hetty Mckinnon, Bon Appétit, "6 Delicious Ways to Bulk Up Instant Noodles," 10 July 2020 This problem means the field needs to draw from other areas of evidence to firm up the findings, says Christine Charvet, an assistant professor at Delaware State University who studies human brain evolution and was not involved in the papers. Michele Solis, Scientific American, "How Human Brains Are Different: It Has a Lot to Do with the Connections," 7 July 2020 Gather the scraps, press them back into a disk and return to the refrigerator to firm up. Washington Post, "Alfajores (Cornstarch Cookies With Dulce de Leche)," 2 July 2020 Ours are made with a generous dose of melted butter that helps the crust firm up when refrigerated for about 20 minutes before filling. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "4 oven-free icebox pies: Margarita, chocolate, lemon and dulce de leche," 1 July 2020 One concern with pay-to-publish models is that big open-access deals could help big publishers firm up their grasp on the industry, and also shut out less wealthy institutions and countries from publishing. Gregory Barber, Wired, "Universities Step Up the Fight for Open-Access Research," 16 June 2020 Moreover, here at Butler Snow, I have been elected to firm management, held administrative positions, and been involved in the hiring process. Fortune, "A black partner’s perspective on why law firms are failing at diversity," 11 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Pinterest hired an outside law firm to investigate its culture after multiple Black women went public with allegations of racial bias on the job. Sarah Todd, Quartz, "What an anti-racist workplace looks like," 12 July 2020 Bharti Global, an Indian telecoms firm, also put in $500m. The Economist, "Schumpeter Elon, Masa and Boris in low-Earth orbit," 11 July 2020 The average 250-room hotel would pay an additional $220,000 per year to comply with the measure, according to a study by Hotel Asset Value Enhancement, an advisory firm. Anna Kramer, SFChronicle.com, "SF has nation’s strictest hotel and office cleaning rules. Not everyone’s happy," 11 July 2020 Sessions has also called on Tuberville to reveal more about fraud at an investment firm Tuberville co-founded in 2009. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Tommy Tuberville goes low profile to run out clock in runoff with Jeff Sessions," 10 July 2020 Over the weekend, the founder of an Arizona public relations firm recorded herself destroying a face mask display at a Scottsdale Target. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "'Wearing a mask is not about fear': Retailer group urges governors to require everyone to wear a mask," 8 July 2020 John Campbell, 50, of White Lake is an executive vice president at the Detroit Trading Company, an automotive data and technology firm. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford declares war with all-new Bronco as Jeep Wrangler demand spikes," 8 July 2020 An international technology firm has landed in Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones’ Star Business Park in Frisco. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Global tech and equipment firm headed to Jerry Jones’ Frisco business park," 7 July 2020 An advertising data firm estimates that 37.8% of the advertising revenue for Tucker Carlson's Fox News show comes from the company MyPillow. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Thirty-eight percent of Tucker Carlson's advertising came from MyPillow in 2020, data firm estimates," 7 July 2020

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


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


14th century, in the meaning defined above


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


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


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

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Time Traveler for firm

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for firm

Last Updated

7 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Firm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firm. Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for firm

How to pronounce firm (audio)

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



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



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

: a business organization
\ 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


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.



Kids Definition of firm (Entry 3 of 3)

: business sense 2 an insurance firm



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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for firm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with firm

Spanish Central: Translation of firm

Nglish: Translation of firm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of firm for Arabic Speakers

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