, firming, firmed, firmer
1. countable noun
A firm is an organization which sells or produces something or which provides a service which people pay for. ⇒ The firm's employees were expecting large bonuses. [+ of] ⇒ ...a firm of heating engineers.
2. graded adjective & adjective If something is firm, it does not change much in shape when it is pressed but is not completely hard. ⇒ Fruit should be firm and in excellent condition. ⇒ Choose a soft, medium or firm mattress to suit their individual needs.
firmness uncountable noun OPPOSITE: softness ⇒ Vegetables should retain some firmness and should not be soggy and waterlogged.
3. graded adjective & adjective If something is firm, it does not shake or move when you put weight or pressure on it, because it is strongly made or securely fastened. ⇒ If you have to climb up, use a firm platform or a sturdy ladder. firmly
graded adverb & adverb [ADV -ed, ADV after v] ⇒ The front door is locked and all the windows are firmly shut. 4. graded adjective & adjective If someone's grip is firm or if they perform a physical action in a firm way, they do it with quite a lot of force or pressure but also in a controlled way. ⇒ The quick handshake was firm and cool. ⇒ He managed to grasp the metal, get a firm grip of it and heave his body upwards. firmly
graded adverb & adverb [ADV after v] ⇒ She held me firmly by the elbow and led me to my aisle seat.
firmness uncountable noun ⇒ Tim stretched out a hand in apology and was comforted by the firmness with which Marc gripped it.
5. graded adjective & adjective If you describe someone as firm, you mean they behave in a way that shows that they are not going to change their mind, or that they are the person who is in control. [+ with] ⇒ She had to be firm with him. 'I don't want to see you again.' ⇒ Perhaps they need the guiding hand of a firm father figure. firmly
graded adverb & adverb [ADV with v] ⇒ 'A good night's sleep is what you want,' he said firmly.
firmness uncountable noun ⇒ ...a manner that combines friendliness with compassion and firmness.
6. graded adjective & adjective [usu ADJ n] A firm decision or opinion is definite and unlikely to change. ⇒ He made a firm decision to leave Fort Multry by boat. ⇒ It is my firm belief that an effective partnership approach between police and the public is absolutely necessary. firmly
graded adverb & adverb [ADV -ed, ADV after v] ⇒ Political values and opinions are firmly held, and can be slow to change. ⇒ He is firmly convinced that it is vital to do this.
firmness uncountable noun ⇒ What's impressed me has been his considerable firmness of purpose.
7. graded adjective & adjective [ADJ n] Firm evidence or information is based on facts and so is likely to be true. ⇒ This man may have killed others but unfortunately we have no firm evidence. ⇒ There's unlikely to be firm news about the convoy's progress for some time. 8. graded adjective & adjective [usu ADJ n] You use firm to describe control or a basis or position when it is strong and unlikely to be ended or removed. ⇒ Although the Yakutians are a minority, they have firm control of the territory. ⇒ The company, a household name in the States, has a firm foothold in the British market. firmly
graded adverb & adverb [ADV -ed, ADV after v] ⇒ This tradition is also firmly rooted in the past. ⇒ It placed reggae music firmly in the mainstream of world culture. 9. graded adjective [ADJ n] If people are firm friends, they have been close friends for a long time and their friendship is likely to continue. ⇒ The couple met about two years ago and soon became firm friends. 10. graded adjective & adjective If a price, value, or currency is firm, it is not decreasing in value or amount. ⇒ Cotton prices remain firm and demand is strong. ⇒ The shares held firm at 280p. ⇒ Firm prices and stability will allow both producers and consumers to plan confidently. firmness
uncountable noun [+ of] ⇒ ...the firmness of the dollar against other currencies. 11. verb If you firm soil around a plant, you press it so that it is fairly solid rather than loose. [V n prep/adv] ⇒ Firm more soil over the roots and water thoroughly.
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