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1. To cause something to become more physically stable or solid. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "firm" and "up." I think we need to firm up the foundation before the whole thing falls over. Now put the mixture in the fridge so it can firm up.
2. To become more physically fit or toned. Yeah, I hired a personal trainer to help me firm up.
3. To recover from a problem or decline. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "firm" and "up." It'll take some time for sales to firm up after the economic downturn.
4. To solidify a plan or idea and make it more definite. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "firm" and "up." I'll call you tomorrow night to firm up our plans for the weekend, OK?
5. To change or add to a monetary offer, in order to make it more desirable. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "firm" and "up." If we firm up our offer, I really do think he'll sign with us.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.