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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

be on firm ground

be sure of your facts or secure in your position, especially in a discussion.
See also: firm, ground, on

a firm hand

strict discipline or control.
Often used in the the fuller form, a firm hand on the reins (or the tiller ), this phrase is employing the image of controlling a horse by using the reins (or a boat using the tiller).
See also: firm, hand

be a great/firm believer in something

believe strongly that something is good, important or valuable: My mother was a great believer in horoscopes all her life.The boss was a firm believer in developing strong teamwork.

stand ˈfast/ˈfirm

refuse to move back; refuse to change your opinions or behaviour: The management have stood firm against demands for a pay increase. OPPOSITE: shift your ground
Fast here means ‘firmly fixed’.
See also: fast, firm, stand

be on firm ˈground

be sure about your beliefs, knowledge, etc.; be confident: I don’t know a lot about physics, I’m afraid. I’m on firmer ground with mathematics, which I studied at university.
See also: firm, ground, on

a firm ˈhand

strong discipline and control: What his son needs, if you ask me, is a firm hand!
See also: firm, hand

hold ˈfirm (to something)

(formal) believe something strongly and not change your mind: She held firm to her principles.
See also: firm, hold

take a firm ˈline/ˈstand (on/against something)

make your beliefs known and try to make others follow them: We need to take a firm line on tobacco advertising.They took a firm stand against drugs in the school.
See also: firm, line, stand, take

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 ?
The all-weather became the safe option, although, ironically, the course served up the firmest ground of the summer.
These two men, David Henshaw and Mike Storey, may never have been the firmest of personal friends, but their record as a formidable team in restructuring Liverpool council and spearheading the city's triumph in becoming European Capital of Culture and a World Heritage city cannot be over-estimated.
Make no mistake about it, we are America's firmest friend.
Also starring Morris Chestnut and Monica Calhoun, this is a perceptive, intimate look at how secrets can put pressure on even the firmest friendships.
Buy the biggest, firmest bulbs you can find between mid-September and mid-October, either at local nurseries or from a reputable mail-order source, Swezey and Sullivan advise.
The Spielberg option is the firmest bet as they are firm friends who stay at each other's homes throughout the year.
Tip out the excess water and save the firmest bulbs by transplanting them in the garden as they are unlikely to recover this year.
The French Foreign Ministry said Paris condemned "in the firmest manner the terrorist attacks perpetrated yesterday in Iraq.
The latest housing market survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says that new buyer enquiries were also up at the firmest pace since the market was last booming in January 2004.
Provided the weather forecast continues to predict neither rain nor significant frost this week, Cooper said he is likely to instruct groundstaff to apply around 5mm of water to the firmest areas of the track, a policy only usually in operation at Sandown during the summer.
This is also the firmest commitment we have had to date that NWDA money will be spent in the area.
Certainly David Moyes and Alan Irvine will have the firmest ideas about that,because they know what they have at the club and what they want -more quality.
The US company has been in talks with a number of airlines, but the Virgin announcement is the firmest commitment yet to the project by any carrier.
The firmest of friends can become sworn enemies when the loo roll runs out, your food "disappears" and the bin's overflowing.
The massive majorities mean that the new Parliament is built on the firmest of foundations - the settled and stated will of the people.