\ 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 But an hour later in Metro Council Chambers, Green stood firm at her own news conference. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, "The Louisville police union wants an apology from a council member. She's not backing down," 21 May 2020 This is a plushier-feeling option for those who want something a bit less on the firm side. NBC News, "Why I love the Casper Wave Hybrid mattress," 21 May 2020 Although the car actually rides an inch or so higher than a conventional Cooper S, the ride is firmer than many a supercar. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The electric 2020 Mini Cooper SE: Big driving fun, little driving range," 20 May 2020 The contract workers were hired through Illinois staffing firm Make Corporation, which has an office in Plano. Dallas News, "Southwest Airlines cuts customer relations contract, putting 120 out of work," 14 May 2020 As the world is fighting a brave battle against Covid-19, all the members of the 39th Indian Antarctic Expedition extend their firm support to the frontline warriors. Pradeep Tomar, Quartz India, "Indian scientists in Antarctica are under their own version of a lockdown," 13 May 2020 The gizzard is a big, firm ball that’s full of pebbles or gravel (known as grit) and helps the turkey digest its food. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, "How to Butcher a Wild Turkey (and Get Every Last Cut of Meat)," 12 May 2020 Purchase records identify the company’s local contact as Paul Bauer, a Sacramento lobbyist who works for the government relations firm Mercury Public Affairs. Los Angeles Times, "California lawmakers question state’s vetting of failed coronavirus contracts," 11 May 2020 German troops had pulled back to avoid that pounding and held firm initially. National Geographic, "See the Full Archive," 7 May 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 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 The butter is full of fatty-acids to lock in moisture, while the Guarana is loaded with caffeine—making it the Bum Bum Cream's main firming agent. Shanna Shipin, Glamour, "I've Never Loved Anything More Than This Brazilian Bum Bum Cream," 27 Mar. 2020 Pillows: Try out different types of pillows, from squishy feather to firm synthetic. oregonlive, "Sleeping too little or too much during the coronavirus crisis? It’s time for a sleep ritual and restful bedroom," 10 Apr. 2020 Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Blake Shelton, and Nick Jonas are all working to firm up the perfect team to take into the Knockout Rounds, and there are definitely some surprises along the way. Maggie Fremont, EW.com, "The Voice recap: Who else is moving on to the Knockouts?," 7 Apr. 2020 But in 1976, the Democratic front-runner, Jimmy Carter, really needed a win to firm up his grip on the nomination. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "8 other times Wisconsin presidential primaries went a little off the rails," 3 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Meanwhile, fewer Venezuelans are leaving, according to two polling firms, Datanalisis and Delphos. Patricia Laya, Bloomberg.com, "Maduro Embraces Capitalism and Venezuelan Emigres Are Returning," 11 May 2020 Lahey had been planning to make a descent with Jonathan Struwe, of the marine classification firm DNV-GL, to certify the Limiting Factor. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "Thirty-six Thousand Feet," 10 May 2020 State officials abruptly canceled a deal with Blue Flame after wiring nearly $500 million to the firm, only to have to claw the money back. Adam Elmahrek, Los Angeles Times, "A politically connected firm gets an $800-million mask contract with California. Then it falls apart," 9 May 2020 According to Comscore, a firm that measures web traffic, OAN had only 33,300 average daily visitors in March, the latest month for which data is available. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "Meet OAN, the little-watched right-wing news channel that Trump keeps promoting," 8 May 2020 Cod is a firm, mild-tasting, white-fleshed fish offering a lean, high-quality source of protein. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Easy baked cod gets flavorful boost from Dijon," 8 May 2020 The firm, Gratia Geomatics, began doing intensive surveying of the entire shopping center the week of April 23. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Howard Hughes officials: surveyors in Grogan’s Mill shopping center for ‘standard work’," 7 May 2020 Meruelo, who bought the Coyotes last year, owns Meruelo Group, a construction and real estate development firm, and casinos in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada. Craig Harris, azcentral, "Coyotes say they provided money to Gila River Arena to pay hourly staff. But they've not been paid," 6 May 2020 Lawyers with Texas law firm Gray Reed, in an article last year for the website IPwatchdog.com, attributed Waco’s increasing popularity to case law and the arrival of Judge Alan D. Albright, who took the bench in 2018. Patrick Danner, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio’s Frost Bank hit with patent suit by mysterious company," 5 May 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

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Firm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firm. Accessed 29 May. 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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