terra firma


ter·​ra fir·​ma ˌter-ə-ˈfər-mə How to pronounce terra firma (audio)
 also  -ˈfir-
: dry land : solid ground

Examples of terra firma in a Sentence

after that nightmarish storm, the sailors were grateful to reach terra firma
Recent Examples on the Web Whether on terra firma, navigating the waterways, atop lofty peaks, or traversing the gentle prairie lands amid rural tranquility or the vibrant cityscape, there’s an adventure awaiting in every season. Margaret Jackson, The Denver Post, 11 June 2024 Having already witnessed the birth of the Antichrist and the first rampage of the Strangers, audiences will get a close gander at the moment when the extraterrestrial good listeners of A Quiet Place started tearing across our terra firma. A.a. Dowd, Vulture, 20 May 2024 Turtles also spent time both in the lake and on terra firma. Kristi Curry Rogers, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2024 Jupiter has a strange core As a gas giant, Jupiter isn’t terra firma—all the way down to its fuzzy core. Shi En Kim, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 May 2024 Each of the contemporary pieces, anonymously strung like shaky rope bridges between the comparative terra firma of the Bach movements, struggled to cloak the rocky, inhospitable terroir of their respective origins. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2024 The waiting crowd at Meacham Field, estimated at more than 25,000, welcomed their hometown heroes back to terra firma with cheers. Richard Selcer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 30 Mar. 2024 Tensions between commercial operators and sovereign operators, and sovereign operators and other sovereign operators, will give rise to tensions back down on terra firma in 2024. Jean-François Morizur, Fortune Europe, 8 Mar. 2024 Advertisement Iris has finally planted her life on the terra firma of the American Dream: a community of unsullied cleanliness, order and safety. Ron Charles, Washington Post, 25 July 2023

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

Word History


New Latin, literally, solid land

First Known Use

1638, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of terra firma was in 1638

Dictionary Entries Near terra firma

Cite this Entry

“Terra firma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terra%20firma. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

terra firma

ter·​ra fir·​ma
: dry land : solid ground
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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