terra firma

ter·​ra fir·​ma | \ ˌter-ə-ˈfər-mə also -ˈfir- How to pronounce terra firma (audio) \

Definition of terra firma

: dry land : solid ground

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Synonyms for terra firma


dirt, dust, earth, ground, land, soil

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Examples of terra firma in a Sentence

after that nightmarish storm, the sailors were grateful to reach terra firma

Recent Examples on the Web

After 15 years of intrepidly wandering the mysterious planet and sending back thousands of astonishing images, the roving robot suddenly stopped responding to its operators back on terra firma. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "Here’s the Real Story Behind the Demise of Mars Rover B," 28 Feb. 2019 Adventuresome types can swing through the trees on over two miles of zip line; back down on terra firma, there are the resort's twin golf courses to consider. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Resorts in Hawaii: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 Getty Most of us spend our days firmly rooted on terra firma, which means seeing the world from a bird's-eye view is extra special (yet another reason to snag that window seat). Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "30 Beautiful Aerial Photographs Taken Around the World," 24 Jan. 2018 The Falcon 9's cycle—launch, then return of the first stage to terra firma or to a drone ship in the ocean—is becoming routine. Bobak Ferdowsi, Popular Mechanics, "Why the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket Just Might Work," 31 July 2017 But once on terra firma, Kerr sure can stick a landing. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Red Stars embrace Australian sensation Samantha Kerr — but 'Chicago doesn’t really know she’s here yet'," 2 June 2018 But even if the Falcon Heavy’s main core didn’t successfully return to terra firma, the mission was still a success, allowing Musk’s Tesla Roadster to find its new home in space. Lisa Marie Segarra, Time, "The SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch Was Almost Perfect," 7 Feb. 2018 The Boston Red Sox were a real buzzkill for the Angels and Shohei Ohtani on Tuesday night, the team with the best record in baseball knocking the seemingly otherworldly two-way star back to terra firma. Mike Digiovanna, latimes.com, "Angels lose Ohtani to a blister, fall to Red Sox 10-1," 18 Apr. 2018 Yupik tradition, for example, holds that beluga whales once lived on land and long to return to terra firma. Krista Langlois, Smithsonian, "Why Scientists Are Starting to Care About Cultures Who Talk to Whales," 6 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terra firma.' 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 terra firma

1638, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for terra firma

New Latin, literally, solid land

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Time Traveler for terra firma

The first known use of terra firma was in 1638

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More Definitions for terra firma

terra firma


English Language Learners Definition of terra firma

: dry and solid ground as compared to air or water

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Comments on terra firma

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one that collects or salvages junk

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