\ 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 Paneer is a firm Indian cheese and a team player that fits in with anything from a wrap to a vegetable side to a main course. cleveland, "How to make a perfect pot of rice in a saucepan, Instant Pot or automatic cooker," 29 June 2020 The public health situation was simply too uncertain and volatile to make any firm plans. David Lyman, The Enquirer, "Live theater is back! Actors live, travel together to bring it back safely," 27 June 2020 Doctors also will must be prepared to care for patients remotely as telehealth takes a firm hold on the health-care system. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "U.S. doctor shortage worsens as efforts to recruit Black and Latino students stall," 26 June 2020 And in the past two generations, as the ideological sorting of American politics reached its culmination, conservatism found a firm institutional home in the Republican Party. Benjamin C. Waterhouse, Washington Post, "Trump’s GOP: a “post-policy party”," 26 June 2020 The suspension proves generally firm yet smooth and absorbent. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1992 Lexus SC400 Rewrites the Sport Coupe Formula," 26 June 2020 Serta's Perfect Sleeper Standale II mattress, a firm sleeper that boasts cooling technology for warm summer nights, comes with a box spring. Krystin Arneson, CNN Underscored, "Wayfair is taking up to 70% off during its July 4th Clearance sale," 25 June 2020 Matthew is a firm believer in the importance of physical activity and its benefits for the mind, body, and soul. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Matthew McConaughey is Quietly Helping Thousands of At-Risk Teens Excel in High School," 24 June 2020 The Hawaiian government estimates that in areas of the islands where coquis have gotten a firm toehold, the population can be as dense as 20,000 frogs to an acre, more than double their average densities in Puerto Rico. Rene Ebersole, National Geographic, "National parks are being overrun by invasive species," 24 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 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 Their bodies firm up and swagger into a ritualistic circle of savagery. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "Rout the Racism From Your Very Bones," 10 June 2020 Put simply, having larger numbers to work with can help firm up the math around prevalence estimates. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Experts demolish studies suggesting COVID-19 is no worse than flu," 24 Apr. 2020 If anything, this has firmed my belief that virtual experiences are, in their own way, absolutely real. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions," 24 Mar. 2020 Around the edges the buckwheat cake began to firm, then brown, then crisp. Arthur St. Antoine, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1993 Land Rover Defender 110 Heads North," 24 Mar. 2020 From the prior month, the PCE index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in October, a slight firming from 0.1% advance in September. Harriet Torry, WSJ, "U.S. Core Inflation Ticked Down in October," 29 Nov. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun People may not sport socks in the summer but his firm starts shipping them to retailers in July, ahead of the start of the school year. The Economist, "Collateral damage Trade finance stumbles into the digital era," 4 July 2020 Watson had a personal checking account at the bank, and was at a branch near Tampa to open a business account for his law firm in April last year. Faith Karimi, CNN, "A 911 call, a racial slur, a refusal to cash a check. This is what it's like for some Black bank customers," 2 July 2020 Rebecca Shoom, a lawyer based in Toronto, organized a virtual wine tasting for her law firm in place of its annual women's celebration event. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Are you missing vineyard visits during quarantine? Try a virtual wine tasting," 1 July 2020 Eric Deters said one of the three judges on the panel, Russell Mock, is friends with Joe Deters, who had been helping his firm with the Durrani cases. Kevin Grasha, The Enquirer, "Eric Deters: Appeals court ruling in his contempt case 'absurd.' Joe Deters a 'double-agent'," 1 July 2020 What inspired you to launch your own venture capital firm? Rachel King, Fortune, "The founder of Vice Ventures on addressing diversity and inclusion among VC investors and portfolio brands," 29 June 2020 Her law firm currently helps patients and care providers on issues concerning state laws related to childbirth and postpartum care. Lauren Castle, The Arizona Republic, "Candidates for Maricopa County attorney weigh in on racism in the justice system," 27 June 2020 Our crisis-management firm will walk top-drawer Karens like you through these three simple action items in response to this unforeseen incident. Rich Benjamin, The New Yorker, "Three-Step Crisis Management for the High-End Karen," 23 June 2020 Will my mistakes reflect negatively on other black people in my firm? John Rice, The Atlantic, "The Difference Between First-Degree Racism and Third-Degree Racism," 21 June 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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Firm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firm. Accessed 8 Jul. 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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