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Related to firmness: firmness of purpose

stand firm

To remain determined, stalwart, and unyielding, as in one's position or opinion. Though it may be hard, we must stand firm in our pledge to environmental reform.
See also: firm, stand

hold firm

1. To remain securely adhered (to something). I didn't think the makeshift weld would do the trick, but I'm happy to say that it's holding firm.
2. To remain determined, stalwart, and unyielding, as in one's position or opinion. Though it may be hard, we must hold firm in our pledge to environmental reform.
See also: firm, hold

firm hand on the tiller

Full control over a situation. I felt comfortable knowing that even during this difficult time, he had a firm hand on the tiller.
See also: firm, hand, on, tiller

*firm hand

Fig. [someone's] strong sense of management; a high degree of discipline and direction. (*Typically: exercise ~; have ~; need ~; take ~; use~.) I had to use a firm hand with Perry when he was a child. He had a problem with discipline.
See also: firm, hand

firm something up

1. Lit. to make something more stable or firm. We need to firm this table up. It is very wobbly. You need to use a whisk to firm up the egg whites.
2. Fig. to make a monetary offer for something more appealing and attractive and therefore more "solid" and likely to be accepted. You will have to firm the offer up with cash today, if you really want the house. Please firm up this offer if you still want the house.
See also: firm, up

firm up

1. Lit. to develop better muscle tone; to become less flabby. I need to do some exercises so I can firm up. You really ought to firm up.
2. Fig. to become more stable or viable; to recover from or stop a decline. The economy will probably firm up soon. I hope that cattle prices firm up next spring.
See also: firm, up

keep a firm grip on someone or something

 and keep a tight grip on someone or something 
1. Lit. to hold on to someone or something tightly. As they approached the edge, Sally kept a firm grip on little Timmy. She kept a tight grip on him. Keep a firm grip on my hand as we cross the street.
2. Fig. to keep someone or something under firm control. The manager keeps a firm grip on all the employees. I try to keep a firm grip on all the accounts.
See also: firm, grip, keep, on

take a firm grip on someone or something

1. Lit. to grasp someone or something tightly. The police officer took a firm grip on Fred and led him to the squad car. Mary took a firm grip on the handle and pulled hard.
2. Fig. to gain control of someone or something. You will have to take a firm grip on Andrew. He has a mind of his own. Someone needs to take a firm grip on this department and get it organized.
See also: firm, grip, on, take

a firm/steady hand on the tiller

if someone has a firm hand on the tiller, they have a lot of control over a situation
Usage notes: A tiller is a long handle which is used to control the direction a boat travels.
What people want is a president with a firm hand on the tiller.
See also: firm, hand, on, tiller

firm up

1. To become firm or firmer: My vacation plans firmed up, so I bought airline tickets.
2. To cause something, such as a shape or a plan, to become definite or firm: I want to firm up our vacation plans before I call the travel agent. Let's firm our route up and get on the road.
See also: firm, up
References in periodicals archive ?
Material firmness is often represented by graphical display of compression force deflection (CFD), which indicates the resistance to compression (lbs.
Cooked fruits and vegetables lose much of their original firmness as heating uncouples the links in polymeric pectin, explains Bourne.
In a recent in-home study conducted by Select Comfort among current memory foam bed owners, 81 percent agreed that being able to adjust the firmness (Sleep Number setting) of their memory foam bed enhanced their overall comfort.
Rice bran wax showed relatively good firmness with the organogel, but had a dramatically lower firmness in a margarine sample.
He treats everyone with respect, kindness and firmness - and they respect him for it.
By changing the structure but not the firmness of sausages, for instance, it's possible to control the amount of watery serum that is released.
NNA - We all count on your wisdom and firmness, head of the Maronite Monastic Order father Tannus Ne'meh, addressed President Michel Sleiman and, First Lady Wafa Sleiman, during Good Friday service in Kaslik today.
It acts on the two constituents of the epidermis that are primarily responsible for its cohesion, thereby helping to enhance the appearance of the skin and restore its radiance, resistance and firmness.
A high tech firmness testing system has enabled Zespri Europe to make substantial cost savings by sorting and grading kiwifruit on-line.
It is necessary for pastors to act, with as much patience as firmness, to explain the reasons for the refusal and to safeguard the sanctity of the sacraments and defend Christian morality.
22 Kyodo The dollar dropped to the upper 101 yen level early Wednesday in London on Bank of Japan Governor Masaru Hayami's recent remark suggesting his tolerance of the yen's firmness against the dollar.
Fruit firmness testing technology from UK based Sinclair iQ[TM] has enabled South African avocado supplier Westfalia to secure a major retail contract for 'ripe and ready to eat' produce.
7 Kyodo Margin buying on Japan's three major stock exchanges increased last week for the sixth straight week, reflecting the firmness in Tokyo share prices, the Tokyo Stock Exchange said Tuesday.
Holsinger says the shrinkage and firmness changes were "not so bad that they were unacceptable,' and the cosmetic freckling problem was eliminated by switching from regular sugar to superfine.