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[fur-muh-muh nt] /ˈfɜr mə mənt/
the vault of heaven; sky.
Origin of firmament
1250-1300; Middle English < Late Latin firmāmentum sky, Latin: support, prop, stay, equivalent to firmā(re) to strengthen, support (see firm2) + -mentum -ment
Related forms
[fur-muh-men-tl] /ˌfɜr məˈmɛn tl/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for firmament
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But now came a cloud which swallowed every other in my firmament.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • The troop of the stars was posted in the immeasurable deeps of the firmament.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • In the great days, presentiments hover before me in the firmament.

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • In all the firmament of poetry there was no star to outshine his.

    William Shakespeare Samuel Levy Bensusan
  • The firmament rang with laughter as the other candidates panted up.

  • It looks to me like the firmament at night, with all the stars a-shining.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • It gave the appearance of a grating in the firmament, a small dungeon grating.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • Again the tenor and chorus in a brief number describe the firmament.

    The Standard Oratorios George P. Upton
British Dictionary definitions for firmament


the expanse of the sky; heavens
Derived Forms
firmamental (ˌfɜːməˈmɛntəl) adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Late Latin firmāmentum sky (considered as fixed above the earth), from Latin: prop, support, from firmāre to make firm1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for firmament

mid-13c., from Latin firmamentum "firmament," literally "a support or strengthening," from firmus "firm" (see firm (adj.)), used in Vulgate to translate Greek stereoma "firm or solid structure," which translated Hebrew raqia, a word used of both the vault of the sky and the floor of the earth in the Old Testament, probably literally "expanse," from raqa "to spread out," but in Syriac meaning "to make firm or solid," hence the erroneous translation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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