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

Example Sentences

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
But the effort failed and McConnell, R-Ky., beat Scott, R-Fla., and maintain his firm grip on GOP power in the Senate. Tyler Olson, Fox News, 16 Nov. 2022 Georgia, the defending national champion, has a firm grip on the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff rankings. Laine Higgins, WSJ, 16 Nov. 2022 That is with the exception of No. 1 Georgia, which appears to have firm grip on Alabama's spot as the league's most likely champion and is headed to the playoffs. Wally Hall, Arkansas Online, 25 Oct. 2022 The general was a firm believer, Putin pointed out during a visit to his new grave, in Moscow, that Ukraine is part of Russia. Adam Hochschild, The Atlantic, 7 Oct. 2022 Just as an example, having your own steady income and a firm understanding of your financials can impact whether and when someone is able to leave an abusive partner. Liz Elting, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 Writing in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, authors Rodric Braithwaite and Orlando Figes are readier to cast Putin not as a cynical manipulator of Russian history but as a firm believer in its apparent lessons. Daniel Beer, Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2022 At the start of the lift, push your glutes back and bend your knees before approaching the bar and getting a firm grip. Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 25 Sep. 2022 But the edge control has a firm grip that doesn't leave behind any residue. Nerisha Penrose, ELLE, 10 Sep. 2022
Adverb
The Fed plans to publish aggregate findings from the exercise but no firm-specific information. Reuters, NBC News, 29 Sep. 2022 The mandatory disclosure of more firm-specific information has also improved capital allocation across various industries. Diane Hoskins, Fortune, 26 May 2022 For more firm-looking and radiant skin, this professional-grade pair is tops. Megan Mcintyre, Town & Country, 21 Sep. 2021 In addition to the CIO, oversight from a sustainability committee that ensures a firm-wide holistic approach and quality control is helpful. Robert G. Eccles, Forbes, 19 Sep. 2021 After graduating from Yale University in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture (later converted to a master’s degree according to Jack Jr.,) Bialosky Sr. founded the firm now known as Bialosky Cleveland. Steven Litt, cleveland, 17 Apr. 2020 Another prominent original occupant — the trust company occupied about half the building — was the Los Angeles law firm now known as O’Melveny & Myers. Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2019 Two law firms, Marchena and Graham and the former Broad & Cassel law firm now known as Nelson Mullins received the bulk of the payments. Beth Kassab, orlandosentinel.com, 18 Sep. 2019 Morse is one of Michigan's most visible attorneys with TV spots and billboard ads that call his personal injury law firm the largest in the state. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, 3 July 2019
Verb
This technique, which entails lifting and re-suspending drooping or sagging tissues, is often used to firm up jowls or the brow region. Alfredo Mineo, Allure, 2 Aug. 2022 The commission is set to firm up its plans later Tuesday. Laurence Norman, WSJ, 8 Nov. 2022 The two are taking this Matter moment to firm up an already useful alliance. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 3 Nov. 2022 When the batter starts to firm up and the edges look dry, after about 30 seconds, use a thin spatula to flip it to cook the other side. G. Daniela Galarza, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2022 Texas was one of three teams to firm up their managerial plans on Friday. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 22 Oct. 2022 Put the cheese in the freezer for about 30 minutes to firm up, then grate enough cheese to yield ¾–1 cup. Aleksandra Crapanzano, Bon Appétit, 5 Oct. 2022 Depending on how potent your recipe is, that lower freezing point can result in popsicles that don’t firm all the way up. Outside Online, 22 Aug. 2018 The rich cream is powered by a blend of peptides, blueberry extract, and complex ingredients that work to firm, tone, and replenish the under-eye. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 27 Oct. 2022
Noun
Hasbro previously sold the Death Row music label that eOne also owned to private equity firm Blackstone, which subsequently turned around and sold Death Row to rap star Snoop Dogg earlier this year. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 23 Nov. 2022 Eat a balanced breakfast – consider eggs – and, at lunch, a sandwich or beans if your Thanksgiving dinner is later in the day, said Illa Garcia, CEO of The Millennial Nutritionist, a Raleigh, North Carolina, nutrition counseling firm. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 23 Nov. 2022 Yu’s firm, which has contracts with L.A. election officials, had been accused of storing data about poll workers on Chinese servers. Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2022 In recent years, the twins have served as pitchmen for the ADT security firm, Chase Bank, Dish Network and American Family Insurance. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 23 Nov. 2022 York owns a nonprofit consulting firm, Talbott Talent. Brittany Carloni, The Indianapolis Star, 22 Nov. 2022 Inside the house at the street's dead end, a model home and sales office for Private House's real estate development firm, a man and woman were getting a tour of the property and inquiring about moving into the neighborhood. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, 22 Nov. 2022 Council voted to hire the law firm Minc, LLC, which specializes in determining the identities of those who send anonymous emails. cleveland, 22 Nov. 2022 Its parent, Digital Currency Group, owns the publication CoinDesk and the investment firm Grayscale, a substantial crypto holder, among other entities. Ephrat Livni, New York Times, 19 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

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 1 Dec. 2022.

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

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

History and Etymology for firm

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

More from Merriam-Webster on firm

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