Definition of terra firma in English:

terra firma


mass noun
  • Dry land; the ground as distinct from the sea or air.

    ‘they needed to rest themselves on terra firma’
    • ‘It was an extra specially good feeling to have terra firma under my feet.’
    • ‘Illustrated with pictures from space as well as a few taken on terra firma it deals with all aspects of weather both devastating and wonderful.’
    • ‘A world record holding hydroplane which for more than a decade has idled on terra firma in a South Lakeland museum is to take to the water again.’
    • ‘What makes apparently sane people leave the comfort of terra firma to fly, to glide, to fall, to swoop or to jump out of planes at 12,000 feet?’
    • ‘Two more adventurers will be sticking to terra firma.’
    • ‘The river plunge took place at midday and for some it was a quick jump from the slipway and five or six seconds in the shock-inducing water before making their way back to terra firma.’
    • ‘As he and Luke came in for a perfect cornfield landing, I ran over to welcome them back to terra firma.’
    • ‘A Furness pilot is relishing the feel of terra firma after he took to the skies for 11 days in order to bring home a new aircraft for his skydiving school.’
    • ‘In the darkness, however, the crew, and pilots, did not know how secure it was and they scrambled off the boat for the safety of terra firma.’
    • ‘With the use of a winch and a small farm tractor or other large vehicle, the tower can be safely lowered to the ground and wind plant checks can be performed on terra firma.’
    • ‘On terra firma the young albatross is hopelessly clumsy, but once gliding, it's poetry on the wind.’
    • ‘James did not quite manage to clear the 12 cars he was aiming for - he landed on the 10th and managed to drive himself over the remaining two to reach terra firma.’
    • ‘There is something for everyone at this year's Biggin Hill International Air Fair, even those who prefer staying on terra firma.’
    • ‘However, despite some water coming into the boat, I think he rode the rough waters pretty well and got us back on terra firma safely.’
    • ‘Seven days later he crash-landed on terra firma with the same pilot, and they reached an amicable agreement never to fly together again.’
    • ‘Back on terra firma with a coldie firmly in hand, my dive buddies and I could only agree that it had been a truly spectacular day of diving - and even better, we'd had both dive sites to ourselves.’
    • ‘I now know how the ancient mariners must have felt seeing the signs of terra firma after a long voyage.’
    • ‘In only his second outing for the season aboard a brand new Taurus, Gee will be determined to show the local fans what he is capable of when all four wheels remained planted on terra firma.’
    • ‘In Scotland this week, a senior consultant to the American space programme will detail elaborate plans to prevent contamination being brought back to terra firma by missions to Mars.’
    • ‘Time it right to miss the queues and just minutes after leaving terra firma you are 102 floors up in the open air with executive helicopters passing underneath you.’
    territory, land, space
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Early 17th century (denoting the territories on the Italian mainland which were subject to the state of Venice): from Latin, literally ‘firm land’.


terra firma