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Terra firma   /tˈɛrə fˈərmə/   Listen
Terra firma

noun
1.
The solid part of the earth's surface.  Synonyms: dry land, earth, ground, land, solid ground.  "The earth shook for several minutes" , "He dropped the logs on the ground"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Terra firma" Quotes from Famous Books



... one time come under my notice called 'Terra Firma: the Earth not a Planet.' The author was a Mr. D. Wardlaw Scott, and he quoted very seriously the opinions of a large number of other persons, of whom we have never heard, but who are evidently very important. Mr. Beach of Southsea, for example, thinks ...
— The Defendant • G.K. Chesterton

... the doorstep of the Athenaeum—we are supposed to be on terra firma again—stands the Old North Church, a substantial wooden building, handsomely set on what is called The Parade, a large open space formed by the junction of Congress, Market, Daniel, and Pleasant streets. Here in days innocent ...
— An Old Town By The Sea • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... creation of any school of theology. It was usually an original interpretation of supernatural phenomena varying widely even in one individual from time to time. Convinced of his supernatural calling, he felt inferior to no one in the power of exegesis. As long as he held his balance and remained on terra firma his followers believed in him as he believed in himself. But as Lucius Little has well said: "Once in a while a colored preacher lost his influence with his congregation by drinking too deeply of the Pierian spring. Too much learning raised him out of ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 3, 1918 • Various

... them? Total abstinence is no doubt admirable, but how are you to get them to be totally abstinent? When a man is drowning in mid-ocean the one thing that is needful, no doubt, is that he should plant his feet firmly on terra firma. But how is he to get there? It is just what he cannot do. And so it is with the drunkards. If they are to be rescued there must be something more done for them than at present is attempted, unless, of course, we decide definitely to allow the iron ...
— "In Darkest England and The Way Out" • General William Booth

... and anon they were borne away into the mid-channel and wafted along with a rapidity that very much discomposed the sage Van Kortlandt, who as he saw the land swiftly receding on either side, began exceedingly to doubt that terra firma was ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 8 • Charles H. Sylvester

... vanished. The line still remained taut. Then he gave a gasp of relief, as Redmond's head re-appeared, and that young gentleman swam to the side. Extending a hand, the senior constable lugged his comrade to terra firma. ...
— The Luck of the Mounted - A Tale of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police • Ralph S. Kendall

... I am coming round, and admit it must have been connected with some terra firma, but I will die rather than admit Australia. How I wish mountains of New Caledonia were ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... springs come from underneath, found it very boggy; had some difficulty in getting the horses through it. Got them all through with the exception of Frew's horse, which stuck hard and fast in it, and we were obliged to pull him out, which was soon accomplished, and we got him safe on terra firma. Continued along the foot of the table land, and halted at our camp of the 10th ultimo. At about seven p.m. last night I heard something plunging in the river; sent down to see what it was; found two of the horses ...
— Explorations in Australia, The Journals of John McDouall Stuart • John McDouall Stuart

... work. Whatever else I shirked, I would put my whole heart and soul into this part of my task. Every rope should be tested, every board examined, and I doubt if even then I would go up on the scaffold. Any bricks that I could not lay with my feet on terra firma (there is a joke somewhere about terra cotta, but I'm busy now) could be laid ...
— Love Conquers All • Robert C. Benchley

... histories of these deadly encounters. For not only do fabulous rumors naturally grow out of the very body of all surprising terrible events,—as the smitten tree gives birth to its fungi; but, in maritime life, far more than in that of terra firma, wild rumors abound, wherever there is any adequate reality for them to cling to. And as the sea surpasses the land in this matter, so the whale fishery surpasses every other sort of maritime life, in the wonderfulness and fearfulness of the rumors which sometimes circulate ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... colonial governments were multiplied with the increase of empire, and by the year 1524, the period at which our narrative properly commences, were scattered over the islands, along the Isthmus of Darien, the broad tract of Terra Firma, and the recent conquests of Mexico. Some of these governments were of no great extent. Others, like that of Mexico, were of the dimensions of a kingdom; and most had an indefinite range for discovery assigned to them ...
— History Of The Conquest Of Peru • William Hickling Prescott

... On reaching "terra firma," so much hurrying had to be done in changing his armor for more convenient land apparel, that he entirely forgot the box of money until seated beside Mr. Lacelle in the carriage. Then ...
— Eric - or, Under the Sea • Mrs. S. B. C. Samuels

... broiling hot cabin. We were all in a very good humor. I flattered myself that my conduct in our late combat with the slaver, would advance me several steps up the ladder of promotion, whilst my friends were overjoyed at the thoughts of soon being on terra firma once more. ...
— Hair Breadth Escapes - Perilous incidents in the lives of sailors and travelers - in Japan, Cuba, East Indies, etc., etc. • T. S. Arthur

... N. support, ground, foundation, base, basis; terra firma; bearing, fulcrum, bait [U.S.], caudex crib^; point d'appui [Fr.], pou sto [Gr.], purchase footing, hold, locus standi [Lat.]; landing place, landing stage; stage, platform; block; rest, resting place; groundwork, substratum, riprap, sustentation, subvention; floor ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... Mr Merry, that I am worth five or six men at least in the ship, and, in appearance at least, little more than one out of it, and so I am doomed to remain, while others are enjoying themselves on terra firma." ...
— Marmaduke Merry - A Tale of Naval Adventures in Bygone Days • William H. G. Kingston

... government like the zeros which give value to the unit. But if the people wish to take an active part in the government, immediately they are treated, like Sancho Panza, on that occasion when the squire, having become sovereign over an island on terra firma, made an attempt at dinner to eat the viands ...
— Analytical Studies • Honore de Balzac

... blows directly into it, the vessel pitched badly at anchor, causing sea-sickness, and the rain falling at the same time. As soon as it could be done, I took Mrs. S. and the children and servants in the ship's yawl, and we soon stood on terra firma, and found ourselves at ease in the rural and picturesque grounds and domicil of the U.S. Agency, overhung, as it is, by impending cliffs, and commanding one of the most pleasing and captivating views of lake scenery. Here the great whirl of lake commerce ...
— Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers • Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

... to answer them as I wished; and even now, you are to look on this as merely confessing debt, and craving days. Few things could have given me so much pleasure as the news that you were once more safe and sound on terra firma, and happy in that place where happiness is alone to be found, in the fireside circle. May the benevolent Director of all things peculiarly bless you in all those endearing connections consequent on ...
— The Letters of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... took counsel together and made great plans for the future, when once the Air Force should decide that it had no further wish to keep Captain Robert Rainham from earning his living on terra firma. What that future was to be for Bob was very difficult to plan. Aunt Margaret had intended him for a profession; but the time for that had gone by, even had the money been still available. "I'm half glad that it isn't," Bob said; "I don't see how a fellow could go back to swotting ...
— Back To Billabong • Mary Grant Bruce

... warning note in her voice. Her pointed remarks had not been inspired by sheer felinity. It was her purpose to let Madeleine know that she was in danger of scandal or worse, and that the sooner she scrambled back to terra firma the better. Of course she could not refrain from an immediate round of calls upon impatient friends, but she salved her conscience by asserting roundly (and with entire honesty) that there was nothing in it as yet. She had seen too much of the ...
— Sleeping Fires • Gertrude Atherton

... "Clumsy" lagging, come to grief again, having once more sprung her rotten yard. Fine breeze, but obliged to wait upon this wretched boat—the usual flat uninteresting marshes: Shillook villages in great numbers on the terra firma to the west. Verily it is a pleasant voyage; disgusting naked savages, everlasting marshes teeming with mosquitoes, and the entire country devoid of anything of either common interest or beauty. Course west the whole day; saw giraffes and one ostrich on the east bank. On ...
— The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile • Sir Samuel White Baker

... postillion, cased to his hips in jack-boots, could dismount, and offered my hand to assist the lady to alight from the carriage. She at first gave me a haughty stare, but finally putting one of the two fairest hands in the world into my brown paw, she reached terra firma safely. ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 3. March 1848 • Various

... the soldiers were assembled on terra firma once more. Parade formation was ordered in answer to the glad ...
— The Delta of the Triple Elevens - The History of Battery D, 311th Field Artillery US Army, - American Expeditionary Forces • William Elmer Bachman

... years ago possessed a large portion of the present United States. France had Louisiana; Spain held the Floridas, Mexico, Darien, Terra Firma, Buenos Ayres, Paraguay, Chili, Peru and California; and Portugal ruled the whole of Brazil. All these immense regions are now independent states. England, to be sure, still has Canada, Nova Scotia and a few creeks on the coast of Labrador; also a small settlement in ...
— Wanderings In South America • Charles Waterton

... asked, had she not been prevented by the sudden appearance of Henry Lincoln, who directly in front of her leaped across the brook. He was evidently not much improved in his manners, for the moment he was safely landed on terra firma, he approached her, and seizing her round the waist, exclaimed, "Hallo, little pauper! You're glad to see me ...
— The English Orphans • Mary Jane Holmes

... on the continent and the island, should be equally open to competent candidates, without respect of birth, great advantages would be obtained by this interchange. The Sardes being habituated by residence for a while, and the transaction of business, on Terra Firma; and thus withdrawn from unfavourable influences, would be prepared to fill honourably offices at home. This seems a wise and obvious mode of abating a grievance of which the ...
— Rambles in the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia - with Notices of their History, Antiquities, and Present Condition. • Thomas Forester

... high above the earth Lights from Jerusalem shone. Right thar we parted company And he came down alone. I hit terra firma, The buckskin's heels struck free, And brought a bunch of stars along To ...
— Songs of the Cattle Trail and Cow Camp • Various

... Babel at the French criolla's. Some are endeavouring to dance with little more terra firma to gyrate upon than 'La Nena' had on her foot square of table. Others are beating time on tables, trays, and tin pots. Somebody has brought a dismal accordion, but he is so jammed up in a corner by the dancers, that more wind is jerked out of him than he can possibly ...
— The Pearl of the Antilles, or An Artist in Cuba • Walter Goodman

... his; and doing it all with a will that the very spirit of enjoyment seemed to have moved. She in any danger of rude treatment from those boys! Nothing further from the truth. And so her happy face informed Mr. Linden, when he at last descended to terra firma out of ...
— Say and Seal, Volume I • Susan Warner

... Journal by candle-light; for those were the only papers he would subscribe for. His bed consisted of, first, boards, then straw, then sacking; and it had remained so long without being frayed out that it had become packed as hard as terra firma. His blankets had not seen the light of day, nor enjoyed the fresh cool breezes for many long years. His one window was opaque with the smoke of many years' accumulation. Although his chickens had a coop of their own where they roosted at night, they ran about the floor of his "dug-out" ...
— Skookum Chuck Fables - Bits of History, Through the Microscope • Skookum Chuck (pseud for R.D. Cumming)

... console and cheer him up, but in vain. The poor sufferer was completely used up. He had yielded his gross receipts to Neptune, and would, at that particular moment, have mortgaged his prospects in the future to have been able to set foot on terra firma. With some little difficulty Handy and one of the crew succeeded in getting him below and stowed ...
— A Pirate of Parts • Richard Neville

... "Half Way House" and the well known Larpenteur and Des Noyer farms. It had been raining and the roads were bad. Four times we had to get out, put our shoulders to the wheels and get our little craft on the terra firma. ...
— Old Rail Fence Corners - The A. B. C's. of Minnesota History • Various

... dismissed the girl on some pretext; then he opened the Castle-door and turband'd himself with his gear and that of his Mameluke, and the twain went down to the river and swam the stream until they reached the other side. When they stood on terra firma, the Prince found his horse and saddled and mounted him, taking Hilal upon the crupper, and rode forth to his own country. Such was the case with Yusuf; but as regards Al-Hayfa, when she awoke a-morn, she asked of her lover and her handmaid ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... wrecked. Not only were the sailors saved, but several free passengers of the rat species, who had got on board, nobody knew how, where, or when, were also preserved by their own strenuous exertions, and wisely took up permanent quarters for the future on the terra firma of Looe Island. In process of time, and in obedience to the laws of nature, these rats increased and multiplied exceedingly; and, being confined all round within certain limits by the sea, soon became a palpable and dangerous nuisance. Destruction was threatened to the agricultural produce ...
— Rambles Beyond Railways; - or, Notes in Cornwall taken A-foot • Wilkie Collins



Words linked to "Terra firma" :   globe, neck, timber, field, object, ness, dry land, foreland, physical object, slash, timberland, champaign, coastal plain, earth, cape, archipelago, solid ground, land, America, landmass, floor, plain, beachfront, oxbow, land mass, isthmus, ground, forest, island, world, mainland, peninsula, woodland, wonderland



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