from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or quality of being firm; compactness; hardness; solidity; stability; strength; steadfastness; resoluteness; constancy; fixedness; certainty: as, the firmness of jelly; firmness of flesh; firmness of union; the firmness of a purpose; the firmness of a judge.
  • noun In phrenology, an organ situated toward the back part of the head, between self-esteem and veneration. Its function is said to be to produce determination, constancy, and perseverance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The state or quality of being firm.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The state of being firm; strength; permanence; stability; hardness; resolution.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the quality of being steady or securely and immovably fixed in place
  • noun the property of being unyielding to the touch
  • noun the muscle tone of healthy tissue
  • noun the trait of being resolute


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From firm + -ness


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  • It was partly an inheritance from a stupid tradition, which tried to combine what it called firmness with what it called conciliation; as if when we made up our minds to soothe a man with a five-pound note, we always took care to undo our own action by giving him a kick as well.

    What I Saw in America 1905

  • Privately, he thought he had been a trifle hard on the lad, and but for his obstinacy -- which he called firmness -- he would have recalled the prodigal.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume 1895

  • Hillsborough was under the impression that a little firmness -- what he called firmness -- would soon bring the colonists to their senses, but every mail that came across the Atlantic showed that Lord

    A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume III (of 4) Justin McCarthy 1871

  • Certainly there are times when presidential firmness is better than rapid changes in policy to suit public opinion.

    The Founders’ Great Mistake 2009

  • Certainly there are times when presidential firmness is better than rapid changes in policy to suit public opinion.

    The Founders’ Great Mistake 2009

  • The foam developed by Cargill replaces 20% of the petroleum-based foam and outperforms traditional foam in firmness, retention, support and durability.

    23 posts from July 2007 2007

  • Financial stocks gained on hopes for near-term firmness, which would benefit brokerages as well as insurers and banks with large securities holdings.

    Nikkei Stands Tall, Hits 8-Month High 2009

  • The moral would appear to be that firmness is required.

    The Making Of The Peace 1947

  • If firmness is preserved in dealing with those who are in variance in their conduct with the terms of the Charter, and if the nations speaking through the Security Council take a firm stand, based on principles and don't try to play the game of expediency, then I think we may be hopeful for the future.

    The Challenge We Face 1946

  • Bless his memory, say I, for, though he might have had his faults, he was a right-honest true-hearted man -- brave as the bravest of his subjects, and firm too; though those who opposed him called his firmness obstinacy.

    Ben Burton Born and Bred at Sea William Henry Giles Kingston 1847


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