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firm1

[furm]
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adjective, firm·er, firm·est.
  1. not soft or yielding when pressed; comparatively solid, hard, stiff, or rigid: firm ground; firm texture.
  2. securely fixed in place.
  3. not shaking or trembling; steady: a firm voice.
  4. not likely to change; fixed; settled; unalterable: a firm belief.
  5. steadfast or unwavering, as persons or principles: firm friends.
  6. indicating firmness or determination: a firm expression.
  7. not fluctuating much or falling, as prices, values, etc.: The stock market was firm today.
verb (used with object)
  1. to make firm; tighten or strengthen (sometimes followed by up): to firm up one's hold on something.
  2. to steady or fix (sometimes followed by up): to firm up prices.
verb (used without object)
  1. to become firm or fixed (sometimes followed by up): Butter firms by churning.
  2. (of prices, markets, etc.) to recover; become stronger, as after a decline (sometimes followed by up): Stock prices firmed again today.
adverb, firm·er, firm·est.
  1. firmly: He stood firm.

Origin of firm1

1300–50; < Latin firmus; replacing Middle English ferm < Middle French < Latin
Related formsfirm·ly, adverbfirm·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. Firm, hard, solid, stiff are applied to substances that tend to retain their form unaltered in spite of pressure or force. Firm often implies that something has been brought from a yielding state to a fixed or elastic one: An increased amount of pectin makes jellies firm. Hard is applied to substances so resistant that it is difficult to make any impression upon their surface or to penetrate their interior: as hard as a stone. Solid is applied to substances that without external support retain their form and resist pressure: Water in the form of ice is solid. It sometimes denotes the opposite of hollow: a solid block of marble. Stiff implies rigidity that resists a bending force: as stiff as a poker. 2. fast, stable, immovable. 4. established, confirmed. 5. determined, immovable, staunch, reliable.

Antonyms

1. yielding, soft.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for firmness

firm1

adjective
  1. not soft or yielding to a touch or pressure; rigid; solid
  2. securely in position; stable or stationary
  3. definitely established; decided; settled
  4. enduring or steady; constant
  5. having determination or strength; resolute
  6. (of prices, markets, etc) tending to rise
adverb
  1. in a secure, stable, or unyielding mannerhe stood firm over his obligation to pay
verb
  1. (sometimes foll by up) to make or become firm
  2. (intr) Australian horse racing (of a horse) to shorten in odds
Derived Formsfirmly, adverbfirmness, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Latin firmus

firm2

noun
  1. a business partnership
  2. any commercial enterprise
  3. a team of doctors and their assistants
  4. British slang
    1. a gang of criminals
    2. a gang of football hooligans

Word Origin

C16 (in the sense: signature): from Spanish firma signature, title of a partnership or business concern, from firmar to sign, from Latin firmāre to confirm, from firmus firm
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

Word Origin and History for firmness

firm

v.

c.1300, fermen "make firm, establish," from Old French fermer (12c.) or directly from Latin firmare, from firmus (see firm (adj.)). Related: Firmed; firming.

firm

adj.

late 14c., from Old French ferm (12c.) "firm, strong, vigorous, steadfast; loyal, faithful," from Latin firmus "firm, strong, steadfast, enduring, stable," from PIE root *dher- "to hold, support" (cf. Sanskrit dharmah "custom, law," Greek thronos "seat," Lithuanian dirzmas "strong," Welsh dir "hard," Breton dir "steel"). The return in late 1500s to -i- from Middle English ferme was modeled on Latin. Related: Firmly; firmness.

firm

n.

"business house," 1744, from German Firma "a business, name of a business," originally "signature," from Italian firma "signature," from firmare "to sign," from Latin firmare "make firm, affirm," in Late Latin, "confirm (by signature)," from firmus "firm, stable" (see firm (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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