• synonyms

terra firma

See more synonyms for terra firma on Thesaurus.com
  1. firm or solid earth; dry land (as opposed to water or air).
Show More

Origin of terra firma

Borrowed into English from Latin around 1595–1605
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for terra firma

earth, ground, terrain, terra

Examples from the Web for terra firma

Historical Examples of terra firma

  • Once on terra-firma, the doctor's view of the case was changed.

    The Jest Book

    Mark Lemon

  • How they jostled about, as if they were afraid they shouldn't get their share of terra-firma!

  • Those of Terra-Firma think that there is a god in the heaven, namely, the sun.

  • If I could only land on terra-firma,—one side or the other,—I shouldn't much care which.

    The Eustace Diamonds

    Anthony Trollope

  • I had then never felt so grateful to Providence as I did when I got my feet on terra-firma.

    Afloat And Ashore

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for terra firma

terra firma

  1. the solid earth; firm ground
Show More

Word Origin for terra firma

C17: from Latin
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 terra firma


c.1600, "part of the Italian mainland ruled by Venice," from Modern Latin terra firma, literally "firm land," from Latin terra "earth, land" (see terrain) + firma "firm," fem. of firmus (see firm (adj.)). Meaning "the land" (as distinct from "the sea") is first attested 1690s.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

terra firma in Culture

terra firma

[(ter-uh fur-muh)]

Dry land, as opposed to the sea: “After our stormy voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, we were relieved to set foot on terra firma.” From Latin, meaning “firm (or solid) ground.”

Show More
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.