Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

firm - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective firm pronunciation in American English /fɜrm/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    solid but not hard
    The ground beneath our feet was fairly firm and not too muddy.
    I sleep better on a firm mattress.
    firm, ripe tomatoes
  2. 2
    steady and fixed in place
    Make sure the ladder is firm before you start to climb.
    1. a.
      steady and not likely to change
      The dollar remained firm against the yen today.
  3. 3
    definite and not likely to change
    Have you set a firm date for the meeting?
    a firm commitment: We want a firm commitment that resources will be provided.
    a firm belief/conviction: It is my firm belief that we must encourage debate.
    a firm believer: Mark’s a firm believer in discipline for children.
    a firm favorite: The Rams are firm favorites to take the title this year.
    1. a.
      definite and reliable
      firm evidence: No firm evidence links pollution with asthma.
      firm news: All we have at the moment is rumors, no firm news.
  4. 4
    showing that you are in control of a situation and will not be easily forced to do something
    Her staff regard her as firm but fair.
    What the party needs now is firm leadership.
    be firm with someone: You sometimes have to be firm with young children.
    take firm action: The government must take firm action to stop the fighting.
  5. 5
    physically or mentally strong
    She took a firm hold of the stick and pulled hard.
    Her handshake was firm and her smile warm.
    Bruce put a firm hand on my arm.

derived words


I firmly believe that we must act at once.


noun [uncountable]


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog