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

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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

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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

The celebrity home stager, the brain behind the award-winning firm Interior Marketing Group (IMG), is known for her knack of decorating luxury properties to sell—and sell fast. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "A Celebrity Home Stager Reveals the Art of Decorating," 7 Mar. 2019 The pins are going to be tougher, the greens are going to be firmer and faster. Sam Farmer, latimes.com, "Tiger Woods misses cut, going five over on No. 1 over two days," 16 June 2018 Facilities in Florida, Texas, Arkansas, Connecticut, and Georgia have also purchased the technology, which is primarily supplied by prison telecommunications firm Securus Technologies. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Prisons Are Building Giant Biometric Databases of Prisoners' Voices," 1 Feb. 2019 Sandmann’s family had hired RunSwitch, a Kentucky public relations firm with Republican ties, to help craft and disseminate his statement and to navigate the media. Kate Storey, Town & Country, "Behind the PR Machine That Helped Change the Nick Sandmann Narrative," 25 Jan. 2019 There's no shortage of strange beliefs out there, and not all of them involve having a firm grip on reality. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Why does flat Earth belief still exist?," 28 Dec. 2018 The Jetta’s steering is firm and precise, perfectly in tune with a suspension that combines a smooth ride with responsive handling. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Review: 2019 Jetta is Volkswagen’s best compact sedan," 12 July 2018 Fish should still be firm and slightly translucent. Nicole Sours Larson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "White fish & vegetables," 9 July 2018 The group also decried the company’s commercial relationship with the data firm Palantir, which does business with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "Amazon employees hope to confront Jeff Bezos about law enforcement deals at an all-staff meeting," 5 Nov. 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

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 Kepler mostly firmed up the fraction of stars that have planets. Harrison Tasoff, Space.com, "NASA's TESS Satellite Will Supercharge Search for Nearby, Earth-Like Worlds," 15 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Powerful lawyer Gordon Caplan was placed on leave at his law firm. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Hallmark Drops Lori Loughlin and Sephora Dumps Olivia Jade in Fallout from the College Scandal," 14 Mar. 2019 Those conversations were one of the motivating factors behind her decision to launch her own firm, Athena Capital, last fall. Morgen Peck, Glamour, "Cryptocurrency Is Not Just a Boys' Club," 11 Dec. 2018 The former cosmonaut—who also had a long career at one of Russia's primary aerospace contractors, RSC Energia—also criticized a rotating door of leadership at his old firm. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The old guard may be turning against the Russian space program," 4 Dec. 2018 The trustee cleaning up after Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme can recoup stolen money that passed between foreign banks and other firms, a federal appeals court said in a Monday ruling that broadens the international reach of U.S. bankruptcy laws. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Madoff Trustee Wins Appeal on International Reach," 25 Feb. 2019 Below, Becca Roderick, Director of Interior Design at One Kings Lane's in-house design firm, shares how to pull off the perfect office makeover. Liz Cantrell, ELLE Decor, "How to Make Your Office a "Home Away From Home"," 25 Feb. 2019 Cabot is suing the law firm and Kemble for $5 million. Michael Rubinkam, The Seattle Times, "Gas driller backs off demand to have man thrown in jail," 4 Feb. 2019 Indianapolis, one of Amazon’s 20 HQ2 finalists, has become a hub for smaller firms and startups, and had one of the fastest-growing tech industries in the nation, according to a Brookings Institution report. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How a Midwest startup generator bursts the Bay Area tech bubble and solves real problems," 12 Dec. 2018 Stanton negotiated her first investment—a $10,000 stake in Lowercase Capital, Chris Sacca’s venture firm. Jo Piazza, Marie Claire, "Hatched at Twitter," 12 Feb. 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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near firm

firk

firkin

firlot

firm

firmament

firmament blue

firman

Statistics for firm

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for firm

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

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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

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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

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