Dictionary: FIR'M-ED – FISH

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FIR'M-ED, pp. [ferm'ed.]

Established; confirmed.


Having firm feet; standing firmly.

FIRM'ING, ppr. [ferm'ing.]

Settling; making firm and stable.

FIRM'I-TUDE, n. [fermi'tude.]

Strength; solidity. [Not in use.] Bp. Hall.

FIRM'I-TY, n. [ferm'ity.]

Strength; firmness. [Not used.] Chillingworth.

FIRM'LESS, a. [ferm'less.]

Detached from substance. Does passion still the firmless mind control. Pope.

FIRM'LI-ER, adv.

More firmly. Milton.

FIRM'LY, adv. [ferm'ly.]

  1. Solidly; compactly; closely; as, particles of matter firmly cohering.
  2. Steadily; with constancy or fixedness; immovably; steadfastly. He firmly believes in the divine origin of the Scriptures. His resolution is firmly fixed. He firmly adheres to his party.

FIRM'NESS, n. [ferm'ness.]

  1. Closeness or denseness texture or structure; compactness; hardness; solidity; as, the,firmness of wood, stone, cloth or other substance.
  2. Stability; strength; as, the firmness of a union, or of a confederacy.
  3. Steadfastness; constancy; fixedness; as, the firmness of a purpose or resolution; the firmness of a man, or of his courage; firmness of mind or soul.
  4. Certainty; soundness; as, the firmness of notions or opinions.

FIRN, n. [Germ.]

A term applied to a peculiar, fine, hard, granular snow, covering the summits of the Alps, and occupying the sources of the glaciers. Called by the French nevée, [L. nix, nivis.]

FIRST, a. [furst; Sax. first or fyrst, Sw. förste, Dan. förste, first; G. fürste, D. vorst, Dan. fyrste, a prince, that is, first man. It is the superlative of fore, fyr, before, advanced, that is, forest, fyrest, from Sax. faran, to go, or a root of the same family. See Fare and For.]

  1. Advanced before or further than any other in progression; foremost in place; as, the first man in a marching company or troop is the man that precedes all the rest. Hence,
  2. Preceding all others in the order of time. Adam was the first man. Cain was the first murderer. Monday was the first day of January.
  3. Preceding all others in numbers or a progressive series; the ordinal of one; as, 1 is the first number.
  4. Preceding all others in rank, dignity or excellence. Demosthenes was the first orator of Greece. Burke was one of the first geniuses of his age. Give God the first place, in your affections.

FIRST, adv. [furst.]

  1. Before any thing else in the order of time. Adam was first formed, then Eve. 1 Tim. ii.
  2. Before all others in place or progression. Let the officers enter the gate first.
  3. Before any thing else in order of proceeding or consideration. First, let us attend to the examination of the witnesses.
  4. Before all others in rank. He stands or ranks first in public estimation. At first, at the first, at the beginning or origin. First or last, at one time or another; at the beginning or end. And all are fools and lovers first or last. Dryden.


First produced; the eldest of children. Milton.


  1. First brought forth; first in the order of nativity; eldest; as, the first-born son.
  2. Most excellent; most distinguished or exalted. Christ is called the first-born of every creature. Col. i.


The eldest child; the first in the order of birth. The first-born of the poor are the most wretched. Is. xiv. The first-born of death is the most terrible death. Job xviii.


Created before any other. Milton.


  1. The fruit or produce first matured and collected in any season. Of these the Jews made an oblation to God, as an acknowledgment of his sovereign dominion.
  2. The first profits of any thing. In the church of England, the profits of every spiritual benefice for the first year. Encyc.
  3. The first or earliest effect of any thing, in a good or bad sense; as, the first-fruits of grace in the heart, or the first-fruits of vice.


First produced; as, firstling males. Deut. xv.


  1. The first produce or offspring; applied to beasts; as, the firstlings of cattle.
  2. The thing first thought or done. [Not used.] The very firstlings of my heart shall be / The firstlings of my hand. Shak.


  1. Of the highest excellence; preeminent; as, a first-rate scholar or painter.
  2. Being of the largest size; as, a first-rate ship.

FIR'-TREE, n. [See FIR.]

FISC, n. [L. fiscus; Fr. fisc; Sp. fisco; It. id. Fiscus, φισκος, signifies a basket or hanaper, probably from the twigs which composed the first baskets, Eng. whisk. The word coincides in elements with basket, and L. fascia, twigs being the primitive bands.]

The treasury of a prince or state; hence, to confiscate is to take the goods of a criminal and appropriate them to the public treasury.


Pertaining to the public treasury or revenue. The fiscal arrangements of Government. Hamilton.


  1. Revenue; the income of a prince or state.
  2. A treasurer. Swinburne.
  3. In Spain and Portugal, the king's solicitor; answering to an attorney general.
  4. In Spain, an informer.

FISH, n. [Sax. fisc; D. visch; G. fisch; Dan. and Sw. fisk; Sp. pez; It. pesce; Fr. poisson; verb, pêcher, pescher; Arm. pesk; W. pysg; L. piscis; Ir. iasg. This animal may be named from its rapid motion. In W. fysg is hasty, impetuous.]

  1. An animal that lives in water. Fish is a general name for a class of animals subsisting in water, which were distributed by Linné into six orders. They breathe by means of gills, swim by the aid of fins, and are oviparous. Some of them have the skeleton bony, and others cartilaginous. Most of the former have the opening of the gills closed by a peculiar covering, called the gill-lid; many of the latter have no gill-lid, and are hence said to breathe through apertures. Cetaceous animals, as the whale and dolphin, are, in popular language, called fishes, and have been so classed by some naturalists; but they breathe by lungs, and are viviparous, like quadrupeds. The term fish has been also extended to other aquatic animals, such as shell-fish, lobsters, &c. We use fish, in the singular, for fishes in general or the whole race.
  2. The flesh of fish, used as food. But we usually apply flesh to land animals.