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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce terra-firma (audio)

Dictionary definition of terra-firma

The solid and stable surface of the Earth, as opposed to bodies of water or other less stable terrains.
"After months at sea, the sailors were relieved to be back on terra firma."

Detailed meaning of terra-firma

The noun "terra firma" is a Latin term that translates to "solid ground" or "firm earth" in English. Terra firma can refer to any area of land that is not submerged underwater or covered by ice or other non-solid materials. This term is often used in navigation or geography to indicate safe and stable ground, especially in contrast to the unpredictability of the sea. In everyday language, it can also be used metaphorically to represent a stable or secure foundation, whether in a physical or abstract sense. For example, someone might say they feel like they're on terra firma when they regain their stability and composure after a challenging situation.

Example sentences containing terra-firma

1. The astronauts were excited to return to terra firma after their mission in space.
2. The aviator felt a sense of relief as the wheels of the plane touched down on terra firma.
3. The traveler was glad to leave the ship and set foot on terra firma.
4. The mountaineer felt a sense of accomplishment as he finally reached terra firma after the climb.
5. The pilot was happy to have landed the plane safely on terra firma.
6. The astronaut felt a sense of disorientation as he adjusted to being back on terra firma.

History and etymology of terra-firma

The noun 'terra firma' has its etymology rooted in Latin. 'Terra' means 'earth' or 'land,' and 'firma' is the feminine form of 'firmus,' meaning 'firm' or 'stable.' In Latin, 'terra firma' literally translates to 'firm land' or 'solid ground.' This phrase has been adopted into English to describe the solid and stable surface of the earth, as opposed to bodies of water or other less stable terrains. It emphasizes the idea of a secure and unyielding foundation, contrasting with the fluidity and uncertainty often associated with water or other unstable surfaces. The etymology of 'terra firma' underscores its role as a term that vividly represents the reliable and unshakable aspect of the Earth's surface, providing a sense of stability and security in contrast to more fluid or precarious environments.

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Further usage examples of terra-firma

1. The sailor were excited to be back on terra firma after a long voyage.
2. The astronaut was happy to be back on terra firma after months in space.
3. The aviator felt a sense of accomplishment as the aircraft safely landed on terra firma.
4. The explorer was relieved to have returned to terra firma after a long journey.
5. The astronaut felt a sense of nostalgia as he looked back at the earth from terra firma.
6. Navigating the stormy seas, they longed for the stability of terra-firma.
7. The astronaut marveled at the vastness of the universe beyond terra-firma.
8. Hikers trekked through dense forests to reach the safety of terra-firma.
9. Surveyors meticulously marked the boundaries of their valuable terra-firma.
10. The explorer set foot on previously uncharted terra-firma deep in the jungle.
11. Construction crews laid the solid foundation on terra-firma for the skyscraper.
12. The earthquake shook the very core of the terra-firma, causing buildings to sway.
13. Geologists tirelessly study the composition and stability of the earth's terra-firma.
14. Terra-firma offers stability and security compared to shifting sands.
15. The diligent farmer tilled the fertile terra-firma to plant his bountiful crops.
16. Terra-firma provides a solid base for the city's sprawling urban development.
17. The ship safely anchored in the calm harbor's terra-firma.
18. Terra-firma stability is crucial for the resilience of critical infrastructure.
19. Skiers descended gracefully from the majestic mountain peaks to terra-firma.
20. Birds soared majestically above the clouds before returning to terra-firma.
21. The skilled archaeologist meticulously uncovered ancient relics on the terra-firma.
22. Terra-firma's unwavering strength forms the bedrock of our world.
23. Earthquakes can disrupt even the most unyielding terra-firma.
24. The artist drew inspiration from the rich colors and textures of terra-firma.
25. Terra-firma is a testament to the enduring strength of our planet.



solid-ground, water, sea, ocean


GRE 8 (Graduate Record Examination), Analysis and Reasoning, Certainty and Conviction, Acumen and Insight, Latin Phrases and Expressions

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