firm

adjective
\ ˈfərm \

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

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

Authorities for days had been stalling on a firm decision on the best path forward to extract the team. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Four boys removed from Thailand cave as divers race to beat the rains," 9 July 2018 As a lobbyist, Wheeler's best-paying client was the coal mining firm Murray Energy, which paid the firm $300,000 or more annually from 2009 through 2017, according to records from the Center for Responsive Politics. Anchorage Daily News, "EPA’s acting administrator has long lobbying record on issues before the agency," 5 July 2018 The firm plans on hosting a free unveiling party with lawyers and entertainment and will bring the trailer to future SOUP events to offer legal advice to those in need. Bryce Airgood, Detroit Free Press, "Lawyers retrofit trailer to take free legal advice on the road," 29 June 2018 Another tidbit in Johnson’s account is that Miller has relinquished his theoretical power over other domestic policy matters in exchange for a firm grip on immigration. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Immigration Chaos: Incompetence or Deliberate Trolling?," 27 June 2018 In the 2016 presidential election, 72% backed Democrat Hillary Clinton, compared with 26% for Republican Donald Trump, according to polling firm Latino Decisions. Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Florida’s Senate Candidates Vie for Puerto Rican Vote," 17 June 2018 The upset of Sanford, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, was the latest sign of Trump's firm grip on the Republican Party. John Whitesides, The Christian Science Monitor, "Pro-Trump challenger topples Rep. Mark Sanford in South Carolina primary," 13 June 2018 Minutes later, Trump and Kim Jong Un walked to greet each other and stood in front of a stunning backdrop — flags of two countries that have never formally recognized each other — and shook hands, maintaining their firm grip for 13 seconds. Eli Stokols, latimes.com, "Ready! Action! Summit!! Trump and Kim's meeting felt made for the cameras," 12 June 2018 Breed has maintained a firm grip on first-place votes. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF mayor’s race: Mark Leno retains slight lead over London Breed — 134 votes," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 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

Arsenal look set to firm up their immediate future this week, with midfielder Jack Wilshere set to sign a new deal and Mikel Arteta ready to put pen to paper on his first managerial contract. SI.com, "Arsenal Set to Confirm Contracts for Mikel Arteta & Midfielder This Week as Club Build for Future," 21 May 2018 Because if cold eggs hit soft butter, the butter will immediately firm up and the final texture won't quite be the same. Claire Saffitz, Bon Appetit, "Room-Temperature Butter: When We Say You Need It, We Mean It," 16 Apr. 2018 Place them, still wrapped in foil, in refrigerator to firm for a least 3 hours or up to overnight. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Vegan etouffee? Don't knock till you try it, cookbook author says," 2 June 2017 The simple tool was designed to tone and firm the thighs and legs through a series of simple exercises. USA TODAY, "The biggest exercise fad the year you were born," 12 July 2018 If Mundelein wins a decision from the Illinois Supreme Court, the village would pay the law firm $10,000 for work done on that case and $20,000 for work performed during the appellate court case, according to Lobaito. Rick Kambic, chicagotribune.com, "Mundelein loses appeal in truck stop lawsuit, will petition Illinois Supreme Court," 26 June 2018 While said firming is happening, make the ganache out of the aforementioned chocolate, heavy cream, butter, and nothing else. Emma Wartzman, Bon Appetit, "This Salted Caramel-Chocolate Tart Tastes Like a Sophisticated Milk Dud," 28 Feb. 2018 Some of them advertise lifting and firming properties. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, SELF, "The 9 Best Skin-Care Tips I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Being a Beauty Editor," 13 July 2018 Another client, Darling Ingredients, paid Wheeler’s firm $420,000 over the past three years. Steven Mufson, BostonGlobe.com, "With Andrew Wheeler at the helm, EPA likely to stay the course," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

According to a report by UNESCO, in most of Latin America one firm controls around half the market in each category of media. The Economist, "Latin America’s new media are growing up," 14 July 2018 Bad to worse In November, Mr. Voge flew to Chicago for firm meetings. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "The Sexting Scandal That Toppled One of America’s Most Powerful Lawyers," 13 July 2018 With consumers and businesses spending more, trucking firms have struggled to hire enough workers to keep goods moving. Christopher Rugaber, Fox News, "US inflation reaches 2.9 percent in June, highest in 6 years," 13 July 2018 Dozens of development projects are featured on the firm’s website, from Anne Arundel County to western Maryland and the Eastern Shore. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "As governor, Larry Hogan's real estate business continues to thrive — prompting questions," 13 July 2018 Andrew Challenger, the firm’s vice president, said the longer-term trend away from summer jobs doesn’t mean young people are lazy. Ann Carrns, New York Times, "The Virtues of a Summer Job," 13 July 2018 Many guys have the same agents/publicity firms/apparel endorsers. Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "Cam, AB and Opponents Who Team Up for Summer Workouts," 13 July 2018 The number of rigs drilling for crude oil or natural gas grew this week by two rigs, both for gas, according to data collected by Houston energy services firm Baker Hughes, a GE company. Houston Chronicle, "Texas rig counts ticks up amid oil price slide," 13 July 2018 The seller was a partnership linked with local development firm Blackburn Properties, which bought 200 acres of land there in 2016 with plans for a mixed-use development. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "Round Rock theater chain enters San Antonio market with land purchase on far West Side," 13 July 2018

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

Middle English ferm, from Anglo-French, from Latin firmus; akin to Greek thronos chair, throne

Adverb

see firm entry 1

Verb

see firm entry 1

Noun

German Firma, from Italian, signature, ultimately from Latin firmare to make firm, confirm, from firmus

Noun

German Firma, from Italian, signature, ultimately from Latin firmare to make firm, confirm

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Learn More about firm

Dictionary Entries near firm

firk

firkin

firlot

firm

firmament

firmament blue

firman

Statistics for firm

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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 \
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

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Comments on firm

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