1 [furm]
adjective, firmer, firmest.
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.
verb (used with object)
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.
verb (used without object)
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.
adverb, firmer, firmest.
firmly: He stood firm.

1300–50; < Latin firmus; replacing Middle English ferm < Middle French < Latin

firmly, adverb
firmness, noun

1. Firm, hard, solid, stiff are applied to substances that tend to retain their form unaltered in spite of pressure or force. Firm often implies that something has been brought from a yielding state to a fixed or elastic one: An increased amount of pectin makes jellies firm. Hard is applied to substances so resistant that it is difficult to make any impression upon their surface or to penetrate their interior: as hard as a stone. Solid is applied to substances that without external support retain their form and resist pressure: Water in the form of ice is solid. It sometimes denotes the opposite of hollow: a solid block of marble. Stiff implies rigidity that resists a bending force: as stiff as a poker. 2. fast, stable, immovable. 4. established, confirmed. 5. determined, immovable, staunch, reliable.

1. yielding, soft. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
firm1 (fɜːm)
1.  not soft or yielding to a touch or pressure; rigid; solid
2.  securely in position; stable or stationary
3.  definitely established; decided; settled
4.  enduring or steady; constant
5.  having determination or strength; resolute
6.  (of prices, markets, etc) tending to rise
7.  in a secure, stable, or unyielding manner: he stood firm over his obligation to pay
8.  (sometimes foll by up) to make or become firm
9.  (Austral) (intr) horse racing (of a horse) to shorten in odds
[C14: from Latin firmus]

firm2 (fɜːm)
1.  a business partnership
2.  any commercial enterprise
3.  a team of doctors and their assistants
4.  slang (Brit)
 a.  a gang of criminals
 b.  a gang of football hooligans
[C16 (in the sense: signature): from Spanish firma signature, title of a partnership or business concern, from firmar to sign, from Latin firmāre to confirm, from firmus firm]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. ferme, from L. firmus "firm, stable," from PIE base *dher(e)- "to hold, support" (cf. Skt. dharmah "custom, law," Gk. thronos "seat," Lith. dirzmas "strong," Welsh dir "hard," Breton dir "steel"). The return in late 1500s to -i- from M.E. ferme was modeled on the Latin. Related:
Firmly; firmness.

"business house," 1744, from Ger. Firma "a business, name of a business," originally "signature," from It. firma "signature," from firmare "to sign," from L. firmare "make firm, affirm, confirm (by signature)," from firmus "firm, stable" (see firm (adj.)).

c.1300, fermen "make firm, establish," from O.Fr. fermer, from L. firmare, from firmus (see firm (adj.)). Related: Firmed; firming.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
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The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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