firm

1 of 4

adjective

1
a
: 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
2
a(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
firmly adverb
firmness noun

firm

2 of 4

adverb

: in a firm manner : steadfastly, fixedly

firm

3 of 4

verb

firmed; firming; firms

transitive verb

1
a
: 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

4 of 4

noun

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

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. Verb wait for the modeling clay to firm up before handling the finished pot Noun merged with another firm to become a major player in the brokerage business
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Cover and chill until filling is firm, about 2 hours. Jasmine Smith, Southern Living, 3 June 2024 And to be clear, a felony conviction does not preclude Mr. Trump from running for or serving again as president. Pre-verdict, most voters were firm in their support for or opposition to Mr. Trump. Story Hinckley, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 May 2024
Adverb
Bezos hires firm to explore the possibility of NFL team bid Amazon founder Jeff Bezos hired a firm to research a possible bid for the NFL’s Washington Commanders, sources told the Washington Post. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 24 Feb. 2023 The Fed plans to publish aggregate findings from the exercise but no firm-specific information. Reuters, NBC News, 29 Sep. 2022
Verb
Place the container in the freezer for an hour to firm up the frozen yogurt before scooping. Laura McLively, The Mercury News, 27 May 2024 If approved by the full City Council at a subsequent hearing, Chelsea would have 180 days to firm up its development and financing plans and undertake more detailed inspections of the East Village site to ensure that its affordable housing project is in fact doable. Lori Weisberg, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 May 2024
Noun
Two investment firms that created the company in 2017 — Vista Equity Partners and Onex Partners — will continue to have a minority stake in the business, officials said. Daniel Hunt, Sacramento Bee, 7 June 2024 But a Fortune investigation reveals the firm may have cut corners, including funneling assets belonging to his venture fund to a secret offshore entity. Rachel Ventresca, Fortune, 7 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for firm 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'firm.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near firm

Cite this Entry

“Firm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firm. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

firm

1 of 4 adjective
1
a
: solidly fixed in place
b
: not weak or uncertain : vigorous
c
: having a solid or compact texture
2
a
: not likely to be changed
a firm offer
b
: not easily moved or disturbed : steadfast
a firm believer
3
: indicating firmness or determination
firmly adverb
firmness noun

firm

2 of 4 adverb
: in a firm manner
stood firm

firm

3 of 4 verb
1
a
: to make secure
firm your grip on the racket
b
: to make solid or compact
firm the soil
2
: to become firm

firm

4 of 4 noun
: a business organization
law firm
Etymology

Adjective

Middle English ferm "firm, secure," from early French ferm (same meaning), from Latin firmus "firm, secure, solid"

Noun

from German firma "the name or sign under which a company does business," from Italian firma "signature," derived from Latin firmare "to make firm, to approve, to sign," from firmus "firm, secure"

Legal Definition

firm

noun
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
Etymology

Noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on firm

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