firm

1 of 4

adjective

1
a
: 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
2
a(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
firmly adverb
firmness noun

firm

2 of 4

adverb

: in a firm manner : steadfastly, fixedly

firm

3 of 4

verb

firmed; firming; firms

transitive verb

1
a
: 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

4 of 4

noun

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

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. Verb wait for the modeling clay to firm up before handling the finished pot Noun merged with another firm to become a major player in the brokerage business
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The area is also very walkable for those wanting to get their step count in while on the hunt for nutritious, budget-friendly meals, with a firm local favorite being the various barbeque offerings. Staff Report, Hartford Courant, 9 July 2024 There are 745 grocery stores in the region, up from 722 in 2020, according to sales tracking firm Chain Store Guide. Catherine Muccigrosso, Charlotte Observer, 9 July 2024
Adverb
The Golden Knights generated multiple good chances, but Quick and the rest of Los Angeles' makeshift defense held firm once again to preserve the tie. Tim Hackett, SI.com, 14 Apr. 2018
Verb
The family is organizing a celebration of Charlotte’s life, with a date to be firmed but within the next month at Calvary Christian Church in the Pacific Palisades. Mike Fleming Jr, Deadline, 8 July 2024 This powerful polypeptide helps add hydration to your skin while also working to firm and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Savannah Smith, Rolling Stone, 1 July 2024
Noun
In 1919, Garver started what became the state's largest engineering firm, which began by providing structural engineering services for Little Rock High School (later called Little Rock Central High), North Little Rock High School, the Pulaski County Jail and many other structures. arkansasonline.com, 13 July 2024 The firm’s work at companies is typically supported by other owners and stakeholders. Kenneth Squire, CNBC, 13 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for firm 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'firm.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near firm

Cite this Entry

“Firm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firm. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

firm

1 of 4 adjective
1
a
: solidly fixed in place
b
: not weak or uncertain : vigorous
c
: having a solid or compact texture
2
a
: not likely to be changed
a firm offer
b
: not easily moved or disturbed : steadfast
a firm believer
3
: indicating firmness or determination
firmly adverb
firmness noun

firm

2 of 4 adverb
: in a firm manner
stood firm

firm

3 of 4 verb
1
a
: to make secure
firm your grip on the racket
b
: to make solid or compact
firm the soil
2
: to become firm

firm

4 of 4 noun
: a business organization
law firm
Etymology

Adjective

Middle English ferm "firm, secure," from early French ferm (same meaning), from Latin firmus "firm, secure, solid"

Noun

from German firma "the name or sign under which a company does business," from Italian firma "signature," derived from Latin firmare "to make firm, to approve, to sign," from firmus "firm, secure"

Legal Definition

firm

noun
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
Etymology

Noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on firm

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