- not soft or yielding when pressed; comparatively solid, hard, stiff, or rigid: firm ground; firm texture.
- securely fixed in place.
- not shaking or trembling; steady: a firm voice.
- not likely to change; fixed; settled; unalterable: a firm belief.
- steadfast or unwavering, as persons or principles: firm friends.
- indicating firmness or determination: a firm expression.
- not fluctuating much or falling, as prices, values, etc.: The stock market was firm today.
- to make firm; tighten or strengthen (sometimes followed by up): to firm up one's hold on something.
- to steady or fix (sometimes followed by up): to firm up prices.
- to become firm or fixed (sometimes followed by up): Butter firms by churning.
- (of prices, markets, etc.) to recover; become stronger, as after a decline (sometimes followed by up): Stock prices firmed again today.
- firmly: He stood firm.
Origin of firm1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for firm on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for firmness
But Obama sought to project a sense of firmness and resolve, again vowing to bring the perpetrators to justice.Obama Assails Boston Bombing as ‘Terrorism’
April 16, 2013
“The government shows its firmness against radical Islam,” headlined the left-leaning daily Le Monde last night.France Arrests the Usual Islamist Suspects
April 4, 2012
It broke out in part because of a lack of vigilance and firmness in Washington.The Sins of the First Gulf War
January 22, 2011
But in Washington, the speaker and the House majority were singular in their firmness.Heroine of the Hour
March 21, 2010
The need to manage these tradeoffs suggests, therefore, a U.S. policy of firmness and patience.North Korea's Nuclear Bargain
Richard C. Bush
May 26, 2009
To that end we will devote our strength, our resources, and our firmness of resolve.
His firmness prevailed, and the Sultan agreed to take what he offered.Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II
Charlotte Mary Yonge
He had not now the advantage of Russell's firmness to support him in this emergency.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
The Abb was pleased with the idea, and with the frankness and firmness of our young hero.Tales And Novels, Volume 9 (of 10)
As to the firmness she had no fears; it was the dignity she was anxious about.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
- not soft or yielding to a touch or pressure; rigid; solid
- securely in position; stable or stationary
- definitely established; decided; settled
- enduring or steady; constant
- having determination or strength; resolute
- (of prices, markets, etc) tending to rise
- in a secure, stable, or unyielding mannerhe stood firm over his obligation to pay
- (sometimes foll by up) to make or become firm
- (intr) Australian horse racing (of a horse) to shorten in odds
- a business partnership
- any commercial enterprise
- a team of doctors and their assistants
- British slang
- a gang of criminals
- a gang of football hooligans
Word Origin and History for firmness
c.1300, fermen "make firm, establish," from Old French fermer (12c.) or directly from Latin firmare, from firmus (see firm (adj.)). Related: Firmed; firming.
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.
"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.)).