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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



... it broadcast, as though he didn't care a rap whether he got solid earth beneath his feet once more, or went floating down the river. I wanted to propose a truce for such time as it would take to get us all safe on terra firma, but on second thoughts I refrained. We could get off without his help, and he was the sort of man who would cheerfully have gone to his last long sleep at the bottom of that boiling river rather than accept the assistance ...
— The Range Dwellers • B. M. Bower

... emissaries in that colony, and the peremptory requisitions of provision for St. Domingo by our Minister and generals. Had we been victorious in St. Domingo, most of our troops there were destined for the American Continent, to invade, according to circumstances, either the Spanish colonies on the terra firma or the States of the American Commonwealth. The unforeseen rupture with your country postponed a plan that is far from ...
— Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, Complete - Being Secret Letters from a Gentleman at Paris to a Nobleman in London • Lewis Goldsmith

... Herald and Weekly Star and the Ashcroft 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 ...
— Skookum Chuck Fables - Bits of History, Through the Microscope • Skookum Chuck (pseud for R.D. Cumming)

... a partially downward plunge—a fierce struggle on the shelving bank, where the animal had struck a few feet from the top—then the steed stood panting on terra firma, while a piercing shriek broke the deep silence of the wood, and Maggie's cheeks blanched to a marble hue. The rider, either from dizziness or fear, had fallen at the moment the horse first struck the bank, and from ...
— Maggie Miller • Mary J. Holmes

... loosin' a drum at the puir body as he endeavoured to escape the lichtenin' swoop o' the intrepid Scotsman. Wi' matchless skeel, Tam o' the Scoots banked over an' brocht the gallant miscreant to terra firma—puir laddie! If he'd kept ben the hoose he'd no' be lyin' deid the nicht. God ...
— Tam O' The Scoots • Edgar Wallace

... thought interrupted. The imagination is buoyant, ethereal, and elevates poor mortals up to the stars sometimes. It was so with Bobby. He was building up some kind of an air castle, and had got up in the clouds amidst the fog and moonshine, and that aggravating voice brought him down, slap, upon terra firma. ...
— Now or Never - The Adventures of Bobby Bright • Oliver Optic

... to have his projected enterprise to Terra Firma impeded by such contemptible obstacles, and the ships which should have borne his brother to explore that newly-found continent devoted to the use of this turbulent and worthless rabble. He consoled himself, however, with the reflection, that all the ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... usual, found everything charming, when their feet touched terra firma. The crops did look well, and the island being covered with mud, the sand had done wonders for the vegetation. It is true that trees were wanting, though the pickets, or palisades, being of willow, had all sprouted, and promised soon to enclose the dwelling in a grove. Some fifty acres ...
— The Crater • James Fenimore Cooper

... count Figliasi has proved, in his memoirs upon the Veneti (Memorie de' Veneti primi e secondi del conte Figliasi, t. vi. Veneziai, 796,) that from the most remote period, this nation, which occupied the country which has since been called the Venetian States or Terra Firma, likewise inhabited the islands scattered upon the coast, and that from thence arose the names of Venetia prima and secunda, of which the first applied to the main land and the second to the islands and lagunes. From the time of the Pelasgi and of the Etrurians, ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 3 • Edward Gibbon

... fall into if we wade out too far from the terra firma of common consent! The error springs from supposing that there is any absolute right or absolute truth, and also from supposing that truth and right are any the less real for being not absolute but relative. In the complex of human affairs ...
— The Note-Books of Samuel Butler • Samuel Butler

... again, turns, rolls toward the hangar, and stops. A human form, enveloped in a species of garment for all the world like a diver's suit, and further adorned with goggles and a leather hood, rises unsteadily in the cockpit, clambers awkwardly overboard and slides down to terra firma. ...
— Flying for France • James R. McConnell

... bullets, flour and salt meat in barrels. Every 24 hours this post was relieved by the pickets of the English and Hessian regiments; the shore was occupied from Helgatte to Reed-Hurck. Before Helgatte 2 frigates lay at anchor: la Bruene and Niger, both of 32 guns, with a bombarding vessel, and on terra firma, just to the left side of these vessels, a battery was erected of 2 24-pounders, 4 12-pounders and 2 howitzers. Blockwell Island was occupied by 1 Captain and 100 men of the English infantry, and in the night of the 3d. of September the frigate Rose of 32 guns sailed ...
— The Campaign of 1776 around New York and Brooklyn • Henry P. Johnston

... did not know—namely, that Cuba was a continent, and not an island! He believed he had arrived at Cipango, when he heard the Indian word, cibao, on the coast of Hispaniola; and he says, in a letter written to Luis Santangel in 1493, "In Espanola there are gold-mines, and thence to terra firma, as well as thence to the Grand Khan, everything is on a splendid scale." Also, "When I arrived at Juana [Cuba], I followed the coast to the westward, and found it so extensive that I considered it must be a continent and a ...
— Amerigo Vespucci • Frederick A. Ober

... able to command an hour 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 tender and venerable names of husband and ...
— The Letters of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... Brown, plucking up courage and splashing out of the little rivulet once more into terra firma, "this won't do: I must find a shelter somewhere. Dear, dear, how the wet runs down me! I am for all the world like the famous dripping well in Derbyshire. What a beast of an umbrella! I'll never buy one again of an old lady: hang me if ...
— The Disowned, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... not to be worth a quotation, was the big winner after all, a positive thrill permeated the frame and there escaped my lips a "Wow!" so crisp and hearty that the Bassett leaped a liberal inch and a half from terra firma. ...
— Right Ho, Jeeves • P. G. Wodehouse

... 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 ...
— Love Conquers All • Robert C. Benchley

... observed. "The fact is, you see, 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

... him. So she went and brought him, and when he came his lord 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 handed to her the letter; so she took it ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... 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 there. For not only ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... future by their Admiral Don Cristobal Colon. Ferdinand of Spain being now a much more powerful king than John of Portugal, the Pope granted all that Spain asked, but was careful not to admit that Columbus had discovered the real India; for the bull refers only to "insulae et terra firma remota et incognita" or "islands and a remote ...
— Christopher Columbus • Mildred Stapley

... the paddock, or rather the horse was walking the groom, for the animal being very tall and powerful and much given to divers startings, snortings, and tossings of the head, it thus befell that to every step the diminutive groom marched on terra firma, he took one in mid-air, at which times, swinging pendulum-like, he poured forth a stream of invective that the most experienced ostler, guard, or coachman might well have envied, and all in a voice so gruff, so hoarse and guttural, despite his tender years, as filled the listening ...
— The Amateur Gentleman • Jeffery Farnol et al

... encountered the names of Dante and Shakespeare. He knew that they had not painted, but they ought to appear in every speech which was worthy of respect. And when he came to the paragraphs on modern art, he seemed to touch terra firma, and smiled with a superior air. Maltrana did not know much about that subject; superficial appreciation of a layman; but he wrote well, very well; he could not have done better himself. And he studied his speech, ...
— Woman Triumphant - (La Maja Desnuda) • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... by the Spaniards in the neighboring islands and upon the Terra Firma, as the South-American coast was called,—were numerous representatives of Carib tribes, who had been released by Papal dispensation from the difficulties and anxieties of freedom in consequence of their reputation for cannibalism. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862 • Various

... that's taught you some sense," said old man McGee, as the donkey was once more on terra firma. As he rode off, Dick burst into shouts of laughter. His little joke had certainly turned out to be better than he expected and for many days after that he had only to slyly introduce some talk about a lion to cause the professor to look at him in a ...
— The Boy Inventors' Radio Telephone • Richard Bonner

... of proscription, which are poorly supported by a mere show of action. Here we find the Triumvirs quietly sitting in their tents on an island in the small river Rhenus, while storms, earthquakes, and volcanoes rage around them; and Julia and the young Pompeius, although they are travelling on terra firma, are depicted as if they had been just shipwrecked on the strand; besides a number of other absurdities. Voltaire, probably by way of apology for the poor success which the piece had on its representation, says, "This piece is perhaps in ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... we are in Australia. Our feet feel strange as they tread upon TERRA FIRMA, and our SEA-LEGS (to use a sailor's phrase) are not so ready to leave us after a four months' service, as we should have anticipated; but it matters little, for we are in the colonies, walking with undignified, awkward ...
— A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852-53. • Mrs. Charles (Ellen) Clacey

... saving him, and what's the use of trying impossibilities? We'd better make sure that we're safe ourselves. There may be more deep water between us and the shore. Let us keep on till we've set our feet on something more like terra firma." ...
— The Boy Slaves • Mayne Reid

... bell in at the mole-head; then the horn once more, and the steam-whistle in the distance. So it went on, a guiding line of sound being spun between the land and the indefinite gray out there, backward and forward. Here on terra firma one could distinctly feel how out there they were groping their way by the sound. The hoarse whistle slowly increased in volume, sounding now a little to the south, now to the north, but growing steadily louder. Then other sounds made themselves heard, the heavy scraping of ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... at first declared that she was clever and nice; but her niceness was too purely celestial to satisfy his mundane tastes. Mackinnon himself can revel among the clouds in his own writings, and can leave us sometimes in doubt whether he ever means to come back to earth; but when his foot is on terra firma, he loves to feel the earthly substratum which supports his weight. With women he likes a hand that can remain an unnecessary moment within his own, an eye that can glisten with the sparkle of champagne, a heart weak enough to make its owner's arm tremble within his own beneath the moonlight gloom ...
— Mrs. General Talboys • Anthony Trollope

... I have not worked. It has been so great a pleasure. No, decidedly there has been no work! I do not feel myself entitled to take, until you show some progress." Von Barwig felt himself on terra firma again. ...
— The Music Master - Novelized from the Play • Charles Klein



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



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