Meaning of FIRM in English


I. firm 1 S1 W1 /fɜːm $ fɜːrm/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1700-1800 ; Language: Italian ; Origin: firma 'signature' , from Latin firmare 'to show to be true' , from firmus ; ⇨ ↑ firm 2 ]

a business or company, especially a small one

electronics/advertising/law etc firm

She works for an electronics firm.

a firm of accountants/solicitors/builders etc

Kevin is with a firm of accountants in Birmingham.

• • •



▪ a large/big firm

He is managing director of a large firm.

▪ a small firm

He trained with a small firm in Cardiff.

▪ a medium-sized firm

The law will not effect medium-sized firms with less than 100 employees.

▪ an engineering/building/electronics etc firm

Fred worked for an electronics firm.

▪ a law/accounting/advertising etc firm

She was offered a job with a law firm.

▪ a British/American Swiss etc firm

British firms are competing with a number of foreign companies.

▪ a local firm

The equipment was supplied by a local firm.

▪ a foreign firm

There has been renewed competition from foreign firms.

▪ a family firm

The business grew from a small family firm into a large company.

■ phrases

▪ a firm of solicitors/accountants/surveyors etc

Ms Shaw is a partner in a firm of solicitors.

■ verbs

▪ work for a firm

Chris has been working for this firm for nearly 20 years.

▪ join a firm

He joined the firm when he was in his early twenties.

▪ leave a firm

She left the firm in 2007.

▪ a firm employs somebody

The firm employs more than 200 people.

▪ a firm produces something

Our firm produces computer software for the business market.

▪ a firm supplies something

The firm supplies office furniture to local businesses.

• • •


▪ company an organization that makes or sells something, or provides a service:

big oil companies


telephone companies


He runs a software company.

▪ firm a company, especially one that provides a service rather than producing goods:

a law firm


a firm of accountants


a security firm

▪ business a company – often used when talking about a company that employs only a small number of people:

She set up her own catering business.


small businesses


a family business

▪ corporation a large company that often includes several smaller companies:

IBM is one of the biggest corporations in the world.

▪ multinational a very large company with offices in many different countries:

American multinationals are establishing research and development facilities across the developing world.

▪ conglomerate /kənˈɡlɒmərət, kənˈɡlɒmərɪt $ -ˈɡlɑː-/ a very large company that consists of several different companies which have joined together:

The company was taken over by a German media conglomerate.

▪ giant a word used mainly by newspapers for a very large company:

Their clients include the retail giant, Wal-Mart.

▪ subsidiary a company that is owned by a larger company:

The company runs its New York operations through a US subsidiary.

II. firm 2 S3 W2 BrE AmE adjective

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ firmness , ↑ infirmity , the infirm; adjective : ↑ firm , ↑ infirm ; adverb : ↑ firmly ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: Latin firmus ]

1 . not completely hard, but not soft, and not easy to bend into a different shape OPP soft :

The sofa cushions are fairly firm.

a firm green apple

Most doctors recommend sleeping on a firm mattress.

2 . strongly fixed in position, and not likely to move SYN secure :

Make sure the ladder feels firm before you climb up.

A concrete foundation was poured after digging down to firm ground.

Mount the tanks side by side on a firm base.

3 . not likely to change

firm conviction/commitment/belief etc

Our client hasn’t reached a firm decision on the matter yet.

Blackpool remains a firm favourite with holiday makers from Northern Ireland.

Corey was always a firm believer in prayer.

They made a firm offer (=offered to pay a particular amount) on the house over the weekend.

Diana and Laura have been firm friends (=close friends) since their early teens.

4 . showing in the way that you behave or speak that you are the person in control and that you are not likely to change your answer, belief etc:

Cal replied with a polite but firm ‘no’.

What this country needs is firm leadership.

be firm with somebody

You need to be firm with her or she’ll try to take advantage of you.

5 . HAND a firm grip/hold/grasp etc if you have something in a firm grip etc, you are holding it tightly and strongly:

He took a firm grip of my arm and marched me towards the door.

a firm handshake

6 . take a firm stand/line to state your opinion clearly and not be persuaded to change it

7 . stand/hold firm to not change your actions or opinions

stand/hold firm against

Jones is urging Christians to stand firm against abortion.

8 . a firm hand a strict way of dealing with someone:

These children need a firm hand.

9 . MONEY [not before noun] if the value of a particular country’s money is firm, it does not fall in value SYN steady

firm against

The pound is still firm against the dollar.

—firmly adverb

—firmness noun [uncountable]

III. firm 3 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

to press down on soil to make it harder or more solid

firm something ↔ up phrasal verb

1 . to make arrangements, ideas etc more definite and exact:

We’re hoping to firm up the deal later this month.

2 . to make a part of your body have more muscle and less fat by exercising

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.