terra firma

noun (1)
ter·​ra fir·​ma | \ ˌter-ə-ˈfər-mə also -ˈfir- How to pronounce terra firma (audio) \

Definition of terra firma

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: dry land : solid ground

alba firma

noun (2)
al·​ba fir·​ma | \ ¦al-bə-ˈfər-mə\

Definition of alba firma (Entry 2 of 2)

: rent payable in silver in accordance with early English law

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Synonyms for terra firma

Synonyms: Noun (1)

dirt, dust, earth, ground, land, soil

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Examples of terra firma in a Sentence

Noun (1)

after that nightmarish storm, the sailors were grateful to reach terra firma

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So, today’s leap was quite a bit higher than Starhopper’s three previous forays off of terra firma. Mike Wall, Scientific American, "SpaceX Starhopper Rocket Prototype Aces Highest (and Final) Test Flight," 28 Aug. 2019 Back on terra firma, consider spending your last night in San Juan at the Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferre. David Jefferys, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Spend 72 Hours in San Juan, Puerto Rico," 6 Aug. 2019 Like Adele, Sheeran represents pop’s terra firma, an antidote to the disorienting blitz of viral hits, social-media stunts, and genre splintering. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "Ed Sheeran and Friends," 22 July 2019 The organizers of EAA AirVenture — the huge aviation convention and daily airshow that transforms the skies and terra firma of Oshkosh for one week each July — have much to be thankful for. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The EAA AirVenture is turning 50 and Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins will be in Oshkosh to help celebrate," 18 July 2019 The aurora australis keep a lower profile simply due to a dearth of viewing platforms on terra firma. Jonathan Irish, National Geographic, "10 Dazzling Celestial Displays—and Where to See Them," 8 Apr. 2019 But this muddy little hunk of terra firma in the South Pacific presents enough unsolved mysteries to keep Slayback busy for a while. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "A Young Island in the South Pacific Oozes Mysteries and Mud," 5 Feb. 2019 The lack of terra firma did not deter a pair of advertising executives from declaring the patch to be an actual place. Jonathan Alcorn, National Geographic, "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Isn’t What You Think it Is," 22 Mar. 2018 After 15 years of intrepidly wandering the mysterious planet and sending back thousands of astonishing images, the roving robot suddenly stopped responding to its operators back on terra firma. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "Here’s the Real Story Behind the Demise of Mars Rover B," 28 Feb. 2019

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

Noun (1)

1638, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

circa 1707, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for terra firma

Noun (1)

New Latin, literally, solid land

Noun (2)

Medieval Latin, literally, white rent

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Statistics for terra firma

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for terra firma

The first known use of terra firma was in 1638

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More Definitions for terra firma

terra firma

noun

English Language Learners Definition of terra firma

: dry and solid ground as compared to air or water

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