firms, firming, firmed, firmer, firmest
1) N-COUNT A firm is an organization which sells or produces something or which provides a service which people pay for.

The firm's employees were expecting large bonuses.

...a firm of heating engineers.

2) ADJ-GRADED If something is firm, it does not change much in shape when it is pressed but is not completely hard.

Fruit should be firm and in excellent condition...

Choose a soft, medium or firm mattress to suit their individual needs.

soft, flabby
Derived words:
firmness N-UNCOUNT

Vegetables should retain some firmness and should not be soggy and waterlogged.

3) ADJ-GRADED If something is firm, it does not shake or move when you put weight or pressure on it, because it is strongly made or securely fastened.

If you have to climb up, use a firm platform or a sturdy ladder.

Derived words:
firmly ADV-GRADED ADV -ed, ADV after v

The front door is locked and all the windows are firmly shut.

4) ADJ-GRADED If someone's grip is firm or if they perform a physical action in a firm way, they do it with quite a lot of force or pressure but also in a controlled way.

The quick handshake was firm and cool...

He managed to grasp the metal, get a firm grip of it and heave his body upwards.

Derived words:
firmly ADV-GRADED ADV after v

She held me firmly by the elbow and led me to my aisle seat.

firmness N-UNCOUNT

Tim stretched out a hand in apology and was comforted by the firmness with which Marc gripped it.

5) ADJ-GRADED: oft ADJ with n If you describe someone as firm, you mean they behave in a way that shows that they are not going to change their mind, or that they are the person who is in control.

She had to be firm with him. `I don't want to see you again.'...

Perhaps they need the guiding hand of a firm father figure.

Derived words:
firmly ADV-GRADED ADV with v

`A good night's sleep is what you want,' he said firmly.

firmness N-UNCOUNT

...a manner that combines friendliness with compassion and firmness.

6) ADJ-GRADED: usu ADJ n A firm decision or opinion is definite and unlikely to change.

He made a firm decision to leave Fort Multry by boat...

It is my firm belief that an effective partnership approach between police and the public is absolutely necessary.

Derived words:
firmly ADV-GRADED ADV -ed, ADV after v

Political values and opinions are firmly held, and can be slow to change...

He is firmly convinced that it is vital to do this.

firmness N-UNCOUNT

What's impressed me has been his considerable firmness of purpose.

7) ADJ-GRADED: ADJ n Firm evidence or information is based on facts and so is likely to be true.

This man may have killed others but unfortunately we have no firm evidence...

There's unlikely to be firm news about the convoy's progress for some time.

hard, definite
8) ADJ-GRADED: usu ADJ n You use firm to describe control or a basis or position when it is strong and unlikely to be ended or removed.

Although the Yakutians are a minority, they have firm control of the territory...

The company, a household name in the States, has a firm foothold in the British market.

Derived words:
firmly ADV-GRADED ADV -ed, ADV after v

This tradition is also firmly rooted in the past...

It placed reggae music firmly in the mainstream of world culture.

9) ADJ-GRADED: ADJ n If people are firm friends, they have been close friends for a long time and their friendship is likely to continue.

The couple met about two years ago and soon became firm friends.

10) ADJ-GRADED If a price, value, or currency is firm, it is not decreasing in value or amount.

Cotton prices remain firm and demand is strong...

The shares held firm at 280p...

Firm prices and stability will allow both producers and consumers to plan confidently.

solid, steady
Derived words:
firmness N-UNCOUNT usu N of n

...the firmness of the franc against other currencies.

11) VERB If you firm soil around a plant, you press it so that it is fairly solid rather than loose.

[V n prep/adv] Firm more soil over the roots and water thoroughly.

12) PHRASE: V inflects If someone stands firm, they refuse to change their mind about something.

The council is standing firm against the barrage of protest...

The President has appealed to his European partners to stand firm on the issue.

Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Firm — or The Firm can have several meanings:*Any business entity such as a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship. This more general meaning is used in macroeconomics (in terms such as ideal firm size). *The word firm is sometimes used in a… …   Wikipedia

  • firm — adj Firm, hard, solid are comparable chiefly as meaning having a texture or consistency that markedly resists deformation by external force. Firm (opposed to loose, flabby) suggests such closeness or compactness of texture or a consistency so… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Firm — Firm, a. [Compar. {Firmer}; superl. {Firmest}.] [OE. ferme, F. ferme, fr.L. firmus; cf. Skr. dharman support, law, order, dh? to hold fast, carry. Cf. {Farm}, {Throne}.] 1. Fixed; hence, closely compressed; compact; substantial; hard; solid;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • firm — firm1 [fʉrm] adj. [ME ferm < OFr < L firmus < IE base * dher , to hold, support > Sans dhárma, precept, law, Gr thronos, armchair] 1. not yielding easily under pressure; solid; hard 2. not moved or shaken easily; fixed; stable 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • firm — Ⅰ. firm [1] ► ADJECTIVE 1) having an unyielding surface or structure. 2) solidly in place and stable. 3) having steady power or strength: a firm grip. 4) showing resolute determination. 5) fixed or definite: firm plans …   English terms dictionary

  • Firm — Firm, n. [It. firma the (firm, sure, or confirming) signature or subscription, or Pg. firma signature, firm, cf. Sp. firma signature; all fr. L. firmus, adj., firm. See {Firm}, a.] The name, title, or style, under which a company transacts… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • firm — n [German Firma, from Italian, signature, ultimately from Latin firmare to make firm, confirm] 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 …   Law dictionary

  • Firm — Firm, v. t. [OE. fermen to make firm, F. fermer, fr. L. firmare to make firm. See {Firm}, a.] 1. To fix; to settle; to confirm; to establish. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] And Jove has firmed it with an awful nod. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. To fix or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • firm — [adj1] inflexible close, close grained, compact, compressed, concentrated, concrete, condensed, congealed, dense, fine grained, hard, hardened, heavy, impenetrable, impermeable, impervious, inelastic, jelled, nonporous, refractory, rigid, set,… …   New thesaurus

  • firm — Adj erw. fremd. Erkennbar fremd (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. fīrmus fest, sicher, stark , wohl in Anlehnung an ne. firm.    Ebenso ne. firm. Hierzu unmittelbar firmen, zu dessen lateinischem Vorbild auch Firma und Firmament gehören; ein… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • firm — adverb is used mainly in two fixed expressions, to stand firm and to hold firm to. In all other contexts the natural adverbial form is firmly: The bracket was firmly fixed to the wall …   Modern English usage

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