Definition of firm adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//fɜːm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɜːrm//
    (firmer, firmest)
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  1. 1  fairly hard; not easy to press into a different shape a firm bed/mattress These peaches are still firm. It was good to feel the firm ground underfoot after hours of trudging through flooded fields. Bake the cakes until they are firm to the touch.
  2. 2  not likely to change a firm believer in socialism a firm agreement/date/decision/offer/promise firm beliefs/conclusions/convictions/principles She is a firm favourite with the children. We have no firm evidence to support the case. They remained firm friends.
  3. 3  strongly fixed in place synonym secure Stand the fish tank on a firm base. No building can stand without firm foundations, and neither can a marriage.
  4. 4  (of somebody’s voice or hand movements) strong and steady ‘No,’ she repeated, her voice firmer this time. With a firm grip on my hand, he pulled me away. She took a firm hold of my arm. Her handshake was cool and firm.
  5. 5(of somebody’s behaviour, position or understanding of something) strong and in control to exercise firm control/discipline/leadership Parents must be firm with their children. The company now has a firm footing in the marketplace. This book will give your students a firm grasp of English grammar. We need to keep a firm grip on the situation.
  6. 6[usually before noun] firm (against something) (of a country’s money, etc.) not lower than another The euro remained firm against the dollar, but fell against the yen.
  7. see also firmly
    Word Originadjective Middle English: from Old French ferme, from Latin firmus.Extra examples I have always been quite firm with my children. Jo held firm: nothing else would do. Use extra stuffing to make the cushions firmer. We stand firm on these principles. exercises to keep your muscles firm At the age of 87 he is still a firm believer in socialism. Close the hatches with a firm push on the lever. Further research is needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn. He handshake was cool and firm. He put a hand on her shoulder, which was firm and slender. Her employees regarded her as firm but fair. It was good to feel the firm ground underfoot. Many of the teachers feel that firmer discipline is needed in the school. No firm agreement was reached. No firm date has yet been set for the launch. People are looking towards him for firm leadership. Planking was placed between the rails to provide a firm footing for the horses. The authorities took firm action to end the violence. They remained firm friends. four large tomatoes, ripe but firmIdioms to be in a strong position in an argument, etc. because you know the facts Everyone agreed with me, so I knew I was on firm ground. strong control or discipline Those children need a firm hand to make them behave.
    take a firm line/stand (on/against something)
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    to make your beliefs known and to try to make others follow them We need to take a firm line on tobacco advertising. They took a firm stand against drugs in the school.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: firm