Definition of firmness in US English:



  • 1The quality of having a solid, almost unyielding surface or structure.

    ‘he tested the firmness of the mattress’
    ‘I felt the firmness of his upper arm’
    • ‘Robots prod the mattress to test for firmness with numerical precision.’
    • ‘He is developing an automated way to sort apples by quality, including deep internal bruises, as well as taste and firmness.’
    • ‘You can control the ball's firmness somewhat by over- or underinflating.’
    • ‘The amount of light bounced back after interacting with fruit tissue reflects fruit firmness.’
    • ‘The firmness of the normal kidney is about the same as that of the normal liver.’
    • ‘They use a standard laboratory instrument used to test food firmness through compression.’
    • ‘The masks were a perfect fit, as light as a membrane and with the strength and firmness of metal.’
    • ‘The term "indentation load deflection" is used to describe the degree of firmness of the foam.’
    • ‘I walked placidly toward the center, my bare feet faintly slapping against the firmness of the marble platform.’
    • ‘The beans hold their shape and firmness when cooked.’
    1. 1.1 The application of steady but not excessive power or strength.
      ‘the firmness of his hand on my chest’
      ‘he sang with a wonderful firmness of tone’
      • ‘Hatch took the hand and met the firmness of Ward's grip.’
      • ‘The gentle touch had been replaced by the firmness of loveless hands.’
      • ‘The four vocalists have a firm grasp on the necessary style, and sing with firmness but not with heaviness.’
      • ‘When people say, "I liked him from the first handshake," they are not referring to firmness of grasp but to a moment of authentic connection.’
      • ‘Thanks to that stiff chassis and some innovative front suspension, it is well balanced between comfort and firmness of ride.’
      • ‘I indulged in the firmness of his hand on my chest, the warmness of his body so close to mine.’
      • ‘Taking her hand, the warmth of it entranced him, and the firmness of her grasp surprised him.’
      • ‘The firmness of the power steering can be tailored during vehicle build to suit the taste of the owner.’
      • ‘The body of the knife is slotted aluminum for lightness and firmness of grip.’
      • ‘He was ready to fight for his sister's right to remain there, but was checked by the increasing firmness of his father's grip.’
    2. 1.2 Resolute determination and strength of character.
      ‘his firmness of purpose gained him a devoted following’
      • ‘When she speaks about her homeland, there is a firmness in her eyes.’
      • ‘You have shown a firmness and a commitment that has been admired by our members.’
      • ‘This will not be accomplished unless good intentions are accompanied by both insight and firmness.’
      • ‘Young people are the most vulnerable in our society and need guidance, firmness, and leadership.’
      • ‘We watched him on television that night speak with sadness, firmness, and dignity.’
      • ‘It is because of Esther's firmness in their decision to send Deborah to the hospital that Jacob doesn't bring Deborah home as he wishes.’
      • ‘Many of those at the funeral not only expressed sorrow at his death, but commented on his self-sacrifice and firmness.’
      • ‘Other views have lacked the incisiveness and the firmness of conviction that make his analysis a classic in the history of rate regulation.’
      • ‘He was said to have combined ability, firmness, and impartiality with dignity and good temper.’
      • ‘She conducted herself with calmness and firmness, and she resolutely refused to be undermined and bullied by those around her.’
    3. 1.3 The state of being fixed, definite, or constant.
      ‘so certain were we of the firmness of our plan’
      ‘the continuing firmness of oil prices’
      • ‘Some stocks kept their recent firmness, with the photo-film company rising 2.17 percent.’
      • ‘Any specific conditions you put into this clause reduce the firmness of the transaction.’
      • ‘At the hospital, a doctor prods the firmness of her sanity.’
      • ‘There is a way in which historical events take on an absolute firmness that cannot be dislodged.’
      • ‘Its resoluteness in the face of international challenges and firmness on security dictate that the government deserves another term.’
      • ‘The leasing industry was also steady, thanks to the firmness of contracts for leasing information equipment.’
      • ‘Suppliers rushed in to convert the hard currency into kwacha, causing the local currency to hold firmness.’
      • ‘The economy is still solid due to strong exports and continued firmness in personal consumption and corporate capital spending.’
      • ‘Sometimes I'll describe it as an evanescent delusion, sometimes as a centuries-old tradition established with surprising firmness.’
      • ‘By a combination of firmness in direction and flexibility in finding business opportunities, the cooperative is moving ahead.’