\ 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: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

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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 The shift represents a major concession from the Democratic leaders, who for months had held firm on their demand for a bill totaling more than $2 trillion. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Pelosi and Schumer back $908 billion bipartisan COVID proposal as basis for talks," 2 Dec. 2020 Ossau-Iraty is a firm sheep’s milk cheese and is said to be one of the first cheeses ever created. Kristy Alpert, Better Homes & Gardens, "Chocolate and Cheese Is the Perfect Salty-Sweet Indulgence," 2 Dec. 2020 There has not been a firm date set or a decision made whether all students will still be online-only when school begins after the holiday on Jan. 4, although the plan the superintendent presented Tuesday included that approach. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage superintendent unveils early plans to phase in some students for in-person classes in January," 2 Dec. 2020 Gordon, though, has held firm against any statewide mask rules even as his state, like others in the West and Midwest, have seen coronavirus cases increase significantly this fall. Washington Post, "Wyoming’s Republican governor resisted calls for a mask mandate. Now he has the coronavirus.," 26 Nov. 2020 The other two members of the Squad, Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Rep. Ilhan Omar, have both stood firm against criticism from centrists on social media. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "Tlaib rejects centrist Democrats calling for unity and moderation: 'I can't be silent'," 12 Nov. 2020 Andrew Smith and Will Rykard continue to compete each week at center, while Matthew Trehern and Sidney Wells have held firm on the right side at guard and tackle, respectively. Evan Dudley, al, "Position-by-position breakdown for UAB vs North Texas," 12 Nov. 2020 Soon after, and defying White House pressure, the FDA stood firm in requiring at least two months of safety data before a vaccine could be considered for release. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Do you trust FDA on COVID-19 vaccines? States and a Black medical group form review boards for second opinion," 29 Oct. 2020 Gebbia was on target with his passes, stood firm in the pocket when pressured. oregonlive, "Five takeaways from Oregon State’s final scrimmage: did Tristan Gebbia win the starting quarterback job?," 25 Oct. 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 This response stimulates collagen production, which helps to firm the skin over time. Julie Ricevuto, Allure, "The Science of Beauty: The Complete Guide to Treating Wrinkles," 5 Nov. 2020 Sall dissolved the cabinet in a surprise move Wednesday as part of a bid to firm up the team that will manage the country’s economic recovery following the pandemic. Katarina Hoije, Bloomberg.com, "Senegal President Unveils New Cabinet, Retains Finance Chief," 1 Nov. 2020 Simply store the cap in the freezer to firm up its inch-thick layer of gel, then slip it on and wear until your migraine is manageable. Jancee Dunn, Vogue, "A Host of New Treatments Promises Relief From That Election-Induced Headache," 4 Nov. 2020 Major New York landlords have been trying to firm up their balance sheets as the pandemic continues to roil the economy, forcing many restaurants and shops to close and leaving offices largely empty. Natalie Wong, Bloomberg.com, "SL Green to Sell Amazon-Leased NYC Offices for $953 Million," 4 Nov. 2020 Esper has also tried to use potentially his last months at the helm of the Department of Defense to firm up partnerships across the Pacific while still establishing crisis communications protocols to prevent war with China. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "US and Chinese militaries test crisis line to prevent war," 30 Oct. 2020 In addition to retinol found in this treatment, there are peptides to help firm up your skin and chamomile extract for a calming effect. Nicole Saunders, NBC News, "11 Best retinol creams and retinol serums for acne and wrinkles," 23 Oct. 2020 The group has been working with Teen Vogue editors to firm up their collections and devise plans that are pandemic-proof. Vogue Runway, Vogue, "Meet the 5 Young Designers in Teen Vogue’s Generation Next Program," 23 Oct. 2020 Boeing this week is expected to firm up plans to concentrate its 787 Dreamliner assembly operations in South Carolina, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Harold Maass, TheWeek, "The daily business briefing: September 30, 2020," 30 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The antigen test used in the study is called the Abbott BinaxNOW test, made by Abbott, the health care firm based in Illinois. Catherine Ho, SFChronicle.com, "S.F. study could bring U.S. closer to fast, reliable coronavirus tests that report results in minutes," 23 Nov. 2020 Christine Farrell, an investigator with the firm Amazon retained, declined to comment, citing confidentiality agreements with clients. Stacy Perman Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Roy Price, ousted from Amazon over sexual harassment claims, is ready to talk," 23 Nov. 2020 After generations of concert hall organs proved too wimpy to stand up to increasingly powerful modern orchestras, the Massachusetts firm of C.B. Fisk imagined and built a new kind of instrument. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Mighty sounds from Todd Wilson and the Meyerson Symphony Center’s Fisk organ," 23 Nov. 2020 The firm’s longer-term prospects are harder to divine. The Economist, "Public holidays Airbnb’s stockmarket debut will be a hit," 21 Nov. 2020 An attorney with the Rose Law Group, the firm representing Siner and Buttrick, said a lawsuit would be filed after Arizona election results were certified. Lily Altavena, The Arizona Republic, "Business executive, retired judge plan to challenge the constitutionality of Proposition 208," 21 Nov. 2020 The Town Hall was led by Jason Nolde, project manager with GPD Group, the firm hired by officials to work on the project. cleveland, "Avon Branch Library Town Hall outlines plans for expansion: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 21 Nov. 2020 City Manager Greg Humora selected the firm earlier this week. Karen Pearlman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "La Mesa hires company in search for new police chief," 20 Nov. 2020 Robinhood is riding high after its giant funding round, which valued the firm at $11.7 billion, and from an influx of new users who have helped fuel a record level of trading this year among retail investors. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Robinhood co-founder steps down as co-CEO, leaving Vlad Tenev as sole chief ahead of a rumored IPO," 20 Nov. 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

5 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Firm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firm. Accessed 5 Dec. 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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