firm

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a firm hand

Strong, unwavering discipline and control. Children need a firm hand growing up—they crave structure and rules, despite their protests to the contrary. With the company's president making a series of brilliant decisions, it seems they finally have a firm hand at the helm.
See also: firm, hand

be a firm believer in (something)

To have a strong conviction that something (stated after "in") is important or worthwhile. I'm a firm believer in resting on the weekends so that I don't get burned out.
See also: believer, firm

be a great believer in (something)

To have a strong conviction that something (stated after "in") is important or worthwhile. I'm a strong believer in resting on the weekends so that I don't get burned out.
See also: believer, great

be on firm ground

To be certain of or comfortable with something. Anna can tutor you—she's on firm ground with diagramming sentences.
See also: firm, ground, on

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 up

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.
See also: firm, up

have a firm grip on (someone or something)

1. Literally, to be seizing someone or something with a very tight grasp. The bouncer had a firm grip on me as he led me out of the club. I had a firm grip on the wheel to keep the boat on course during the storm.
2. To possess tight and complete control over someone or something. Now that I have a firm grip on the business, I can begin steering it to the success I know it can achieve. Heed my warning—you need to have a firm grip on this new recruit. He's got talent, sure, but he's reckless!
See also: firm, grip, have, on

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

keep a firm grip on (someone or something)

1. Literally, to maintain a tight grasp on someone or something. The bouncer kept a firm grip on the man as he forced him out of the club. I kept a firm grip on the wheel so that the boat would stay on course during the storm.
2. To maintain strict control over someone or something. The new CEO has so far been keeping a firm grip on the company's direction, much to the chagrin of its investors. You need to keep a firm grip on this new recruit. He's got talent, sure, but he's reckless!
See also: firm, grip, keep, on

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

take a firm grip on (someone or something)

1. Literally, to seize or take hold of someone or something with a very tight grasp. The bouncer took a firm grip on me and led me out of the club. I took a firm grip on the wheel to keep the boat on course during the storm.
2. To gain or exercise tight control over someone or something. After her predecessor allowed the company to wallow in mediocrity for nearly 10 years, the new CEO took a firm grip on the business and steered it to unimaginable success. You need to take a firm grip on this new recruit. He's got talent, sure, but he's reckless!
See also: firm, grip, on, take

take a firm line (on or against something)

To publicly assert one's opinion or defense of or opposition to something without relenting. I know voicing my opinion on this legislation may put my job in jeopardy, but it's time to take a firm line against these discriminatory hiring practices. Though an unpopular opinion, the principal took a firm line on keeping classes separated by gender.
See also: firm, line, take

take a firm stand (on or against something)

To publicly assert one's opinion or defense of or opposition to something without relenting. I know voicing my opinion on this legislation may put my job in jeopardy, but it's time to take a firm stand against these discriminatory hiring practices. Though an unpopular opinion, the principal took a firm stand on keeping classes separated by gender.
See also: firm, stand, take

*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

v.
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 Syrian side firmly supported China in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Aquino III showed increasing confidence with the legal move against China, while not seeing the US or Southeast Asia firmly at our back.
Hassan Firuzabadi, the highest ranking military officer as chief of the Joint Staff, firmly endorsed the agreement, listing 16 "advantages" in a speech.
3: Customer now uses gun-side shoulder and whole upper body to push gun hand and frame forward, while support hand firmly grasps the slide as the frame runs under it until slide has reached full retraction.
SEE ALSO: Sefton Park Strollers and Gymwear NOPE, this has nothing to do with crack heads in boarded up houses - it's the exercise of choice for 2014.Inspired by Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian and famous derrieres the world over, squats have been firmly at the top of Merseysider's gym manoeuvres in 2014.
Mr Clarke, 74, who served as justice secretary and minister without portfolio until last week's reshuffle, said of the recovery: "It's not firmly enough rooted on a proper balance between manufacturing and a wide range of services and financial services.
Bulgariaas ruling Socialist Party has firmly opposed President Rosen Plevnelievas proposal for major changes to the countryas election legislation.
BAGHDAD/ Aswat al-Iraq: Baghdad Operations Command announced that its forces will continue chasing outlaw gangs and militias, confirming it will deal with them "firmly".
Labour engaging trade unionists fully is a genuine attempt to root the party firmly in workplaces and communities.
PETER CLARKE says it's time to focus on football as managerless Town aim to keep their League I promotion bid firmly on track.
"The first is that our Party, firmly relying on the people, completed the new-democratic revolution, winning national independence and liberation of the people"
Summary: Brussels - Speaker of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek firmly condemned Friday the terrorist attack carried out on Thursday at a cafe in Marrakech.
Following two fatal accidents in the USA and Denmark this year involving forklift truck drivers working in the dock area, CALJAN RITE-HITE advises organisations to secure vehicles firmly to the dock during loading/unloading to minimise the risk of such accidents.
Formed in October 2005, the emphasis is placed firmly on fun, value for money and owner involvement.
Summary: Britain's Foreign Office summoned Iran's ambassador to London in for talks Tuesday on the detention of five British sailors, which Tehran vowed would be dealt with "firmly" if