terra firma

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Latin terra (land) + firma (solid).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

terra firma (uncountable)

  1. Land, as opposed to water or air.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter VII:
      I stood outside the door for a space, letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would”, as Jeeves tells me cats do in adages, then turned the handle softly, pushed – also softly – and, carrying on into the interior, found myself confronted by a girl in housemaid's costume who put a hand to her throat like somebody in a play and leaped several inches in the direction of the ceiling. “Coo!” she said, having returned to terra firma and taken aboard a spot of breath. “You gave me a start, sir!”

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