firm

adjective
\ 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

firm

adverb

Definition of firm (Entry 2 of 4)

: in a firm manner : steadfastly, fixedly

firm

verb
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

firm

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from firm

Adjective

firmly adverb
firmness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for firm

Synonyms: Adjective

forceful, hearty, iron, lusty, robust, solid, stout, strong, sturdy, vigorous

Synonyms: Noun

business, company, concern, enterprise, establishment, house, interest, outfit

Antonyms: Adjective

uncertain, weak

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Hard sand, on the other hand, can be pretty compact and firm, and may feel a lot closer to concrete, says Elizabeth Barchi, M.D., sports medicine doctor at NYU Langone Health. Amy Marturana, SELF, "5 Things to Know Before Working Out on the Beach," 6 Apr. 2019 Two noteworthy styles: the Helix (starts at $600) and Helix Luxe (starts at $995) mattresses feature a medium feel (not too firm, not too soft), temperature regulation, and memory foam specifically built for side sleepers. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "7 New Online Mattress Companies That Want To Sweeten Your Dreams," 15 Feb. 2019 Tromboncino Squash The slender, curvy fruits of this Italian heirloom are firm and less seedy than many types. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "16 Types of Squash and Everything You Need to Know About Them," 28 Dec. 2018 The White House gave firm but limited support to the bill. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "House approves $1.3 trillion spending bill; measure moves to Senate," 2 Oct. 2018 Competitors like Layla offer a two-sided mattress with a choice between firm or soft. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Amazon debuts new Casper-style mattress in a box," 1 Oct. 2018 Her skin looked firm but toned, and the whites of her eyes shined like wedding gown under the lights at Kleinfeld. Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "Amanda Chantal Bacon Suddenly Believes in Skin Care," 27 June 2018 Depending on their age and freshness, the vegetables can be served raw or they can be dunked in boiling water for a minute or two, which will leave them firm but diminish signs of crisper-drawer fatigue. Emily Horton, charlotteobserver, "Four steps to making a great grain salad, every time," 19 June 2018 Shinnecock’s fairways are wider than usual, but twisting fairways, thick rough and firm greens should counter that. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, "U.S. Open has many contenders, but don’t underestimate Tiger," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 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 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 As part of the deal, Sammons became the firm’s largest shareholder. Justin Baer And Margot Patrick, WSJ, "Guggenheim in Talks to Buy Munich Re Asset-Management Operations," 20 June 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 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

Water well, pour 1 to 2 cups of compost around each plant, and firm the soil gently. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The Secret to Growing the Most Flavorful Eggplants," 27 July 2018 While the research is mixed, oral and topical forms claim to protect skin-cell membranes from free-radical damage, while firming, smoothing and brightening the complexion. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 The inflation measure has shown signs of firming in recent months, with consumer prices rising 2.9% in June from a year earlier. Sarah Chaney, WSJ, "U.S. Producer Prices Tame in July," 9 Aug. 2018 The antioxidant niacinamide helps repair barrier function and fosters a healthy glow, while a pair of active peptides works on toning and firming the skin. Molly Creeden, Vogue, "This New Sex Positive Body Care Line Will Revolutionize Your Bathroom—And Your Bedroom," 15 Nov. 2018 Recently cleared by the FDA, this device can lift and firm breasts without leaving any scars. Jolene Edgar, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything You Need To Know About The Non-Surgical Breast Lift," 17 Aug. 2018 Let the cobbler cool for about 30 minutes to firm up. Rebekah Denn, The Seattle Times, "Food52.com writer Kristen Miglore’s book ‘Genius Desserts’ includes several sweet Seattle specialties," 27 Nov. 2018 The Helsinki summit was firmed up less than three weeks ago. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "Trump's chaotic NATO summit raises stakes for Putin talks in Helsinki," 12 July 2018 Steering can be firmed up from comfort, to normal, to sport. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "Tesla Model 3 just may be worth the wait," 19 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

How to create a safe sleep environment for babies: The CPSC and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that a baby always be placed to sleep on her back, on a firm sleep surface (i.e. crib or bassinet) with a tight fitting sheet. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About the 2019 Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper "Recall"," 9 Apr. 2019 The deaths and recalls forced Takata into bankruptcy with its assets purchased by a company owned by a Chinese investment firm. Tom Krisher, The Seattle Times, "Takata air bags claim another life after Arizona crash," 30 Mar. 2019 Zangrillo is the founder and CEO of a private investment firm that focuses on real estate investments and venture capital. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Real Estate Developers Indicted Over College Admissions Scam," 13 Mar. 2019 In the self-driving world, there's been a lot of discussion recently about the hype cycle, a model for new technologies that was developed by the Gartner consulting firm. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "The hype around driverless cars came crashing down in 2018," 30 Dec. 2018 This is different from Hollywood studios with theatrical releases, whose box office numbers are certified by authoritative box office tracking firms. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Netflix says over 45 million accounts watched Bird Box — here’s what that means," 30 Dec. 2018 According to a recent senior housing marketing analysis by the commercial real estate firm CBRE, 40 percent of investors believe the independent living sector offers the greatest opportunity for investment. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Senior housing: Older Americans face affordability, accessibility challenges," 14 Nov. 2018 For investors worried about an immediate financial crisis, this is relatively good news, since private firms in aggregate are still much less indebted than SOEs. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "The Missing Chinese Bond Apocalypse," 28 Mar. 2019 Only the largest companies like Google and Facebook could afford to build and maintain them, pricing out smaller firms. Raf Casert, The Seattle Times, "EU parliament backs copyright bill targeting US tech giants," 27 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of firm

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

History and Etymology for firm

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about firm

Dictionary Entries near firm

firk

firkin

firlot

firm

firmament

firmament blue

firman

Statistics for firm

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for firm

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for firm

firm

adjective

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

firm

verb

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

firm

noun

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

: a business organization

firm

adjective
\ 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
firmness noun

firm

verb
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.

firm

noun

Kids Definition of firm (Entry 3 of 3)

: business sense 2 an insurance firm

firm

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on firm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with firm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for firm

Spanish Central: Translation of firm

Nglish: Translation of firm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of firm for Arabic Speakers

Comments on firm

What made you want to look up firm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an enemy or opponent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!