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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



... with my young boarders, and set them down on shore. This was glorious fun to Jack;—to work they fell, and in the midst of screams, laughter, and a few d——n my eyes, ma'am, don't kick so hard, on the part of the Bellerophons, we had our nymphs safely deposited on terra firma, and were off in a trice, enjoying the general discomfiture of the poor ladies, who were equally laughed at by the lookers-on, on shore.... We left Torbay, on the 26th July at 4 A.M., and at 4 in the evening came to an anchor in Plymouth Sound, just within the breakwater, ...
— The Surrender of Napoleon • Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland

... 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 ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 3, 1918 • Various

... the siren, the rasp of machinery, and the manifold sounds which add hilariously, especially in foreign climes, to the pandemonium that reigns to within a second of the cry which invites some of us to descend to terra firma on the occasion of the sailing of ...
— Desert Love • Joan Conquest

... strait landed me on the terra firma of Fleur-de-Lys Court, where I halted for a moment to consult my visiting list. There was only one more patient for me to see this morning, and he lived at 49 Nevill's Court, wherever that might be. I turned for information ...
— The Vanishing Man • R. Austin Freeman

... out in the fairway, and the 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 ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... Behechio died, Anacaona was left mistress of the kingdom. 13. The governor(81) who ruled this island arrived there once, with sixty horsemen and more than three hundred foot. The horsemen alone were sufficient to ruin the whole island and the terra firma. More than three hundred lords were assembled, whom he had summoned and reassured. He lured the principal ones by fraud, into a straw-house, and setting fire to it, he burnt them alive. 14. All the others, ...
— Bartholomew de Las Casas; his life, apostolate, and writings • Francis Augustus MacNutt

... of warre, as the Edward Bonauenture, the Marchant Royal, the Amitie, the Eagle, the Dainty of sir Iohn Hawkins, and many other good ships and pinnesses, all attending to meete with the king of Spaines fleete, comming from Terra firma of the ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of - the English Nation. Vol. XIII. America. Part II. • Richard Hakluyt

... writers of fiction and artists. But hitting such an objective while it is tearing at high speed through the water, from a height of several thousand feet is a vastly different task from throwing sticks and balls at an Aunt Sally on terra firma: the target is ...
— Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War • Frederick A. Talbot

... to 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

... and embroidered trousers—some with the circlets round their necks, and bracelets on their arms—in an instant, they had sprung into the miry clay, and in less time than one could have conceived, they had landed the wagons safe on terra firma. ...
— Anabasis • Xenophon

... He "gave it the name of Isla Santa," says Irving (vol. ii. p. 140), "little imagining that he now, for the first time, beheld that continent, that Terra Firma, which had been the object of his earnest search." The reader of this passage should bear in mind that the continent of South America, which nobody had ever heard of, was not the object of Columbus's search. The Terra Firma which was the object ...
— The Discovery of America Vol. 1 (of 2) - with some account of Ancient America and the Spanish Conquest • John Fiske

... master-at-arms, but, believe me, it was more of a run than a march. My messmates were forehead awaiting the result, and as I approached them a dozen voices shouted—"How goes it?" "All's well," I replied. "You are fortunate," said they. Dinner was now piped, but I wanted none—my desire was to get on terra firma as speedily as possible. I pulled my bag from the rack, turned it upside down on the deck, distributing all the clothes contained therein, to the value of fifteen pounds. Then I wished my messmates 'good-bye' and went ashore in a gig, feeling like a bird ...
— From Lower Deck to Pulpit • Henry Cowling

... the British fleet to flight, was found, as might be expected, insufficient against the irresistible courage of native Frenchmen. The Horse Marines, not being on their own element, could not act with their usual effect. Accustomed to the tumult of the swelling seas, they were easily unsaddled on terra firma and in ...
— Burlesques • William Makepeace Thackeray

... 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" in ...
— Skookum Chuck Fables - Bits of History, Through the Microscope • Skookum Chuck (pseud for R.D. Cumming)

... famous for its pearl fisheries, and from thence sailed to St. Juan de Porto-rico. Here the fleet was divided into three squadrons. One was to go to Porto-bello, on the Isthmus of Panama, another to the coast of South America, then called Terra Firma, and the third to Mexico, then known as New Spain. This latter squadron, to which Champlain was attached, coasted along the northern shore of the island of Saint Domingo, otherwise Hispaniola, touching at Porto Platte, ...
— Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, Vol. 1 • Samuel de Champlain

... twenty days his rovings had been upon planks, following with the automatic precision of a riding school the oval promenade on the deck of a ship. His feet accustomed to insecure ground, still were keeping on terra firma a certain sensation of elastic unsteadiness. His goings and comings were not awakening the curiosity of the people seated in the open, for a common preoccupation seemed to be monopolizing all the men and women. ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... treasure, my beloved friend, and with this you have made me rich and happy. Believe me, and take comfort, this is better for me than tons of gold and cases of diamonds, even were they not as problematical as the clouds we see in the morning floating over the sea, which we take for terra firma, and which evaporate and vanish as we draw near to them. To have you as long as possible near me, to hear your eloquent speech,—which embellishes my mind, strengthens my soul, and makes my whole frame capable of great and terrible things, if I should ever ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... not himself have explained. He had slipped, climbed, rolled, searched, walked, persevered, that is all. Such is the secret of all triumphs. At the end of somewhat less than half an hour he felt that the ground was rising. He had reached the other shore. Leaving Chesil, he had gained terra firma. ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... of Tudela again at Ceylon, then at the Island of Socotra in the Persian Gulf, and after crossing the Red Sea he arrives in Abyssinia, which he styles "the India that is on terra firma." Thence he goes down the Nile, crosses the country of Assouan, reaches the town of Holvan, and by the Sahara, where the sand swallows up whole caravans, he goes to Zairlah, Kous, Faiouna and Misraim ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part I. The Exploration of the World • Jules Verne

... God with me that we are once more on TERRA FIRMA. We arrived yesterday morning at ten o'clock, after a very rough voyage and after riding all night in the Channel in a tremendous gale, so bad that no pilot could reach us to bring us in on Saturday evening. A record of a sea voyage will be only interesting to you who love me, but I must ...
— Letters from England 1846-1849 • Elizabeth Davis Bancroft (Mrs. George Bancroft)

... a perfect 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 ...
— The Pearl of the Antilles, or An Artist in Cuba • Walter Goodman

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

... "double-ender." On reaching the other side of the river we simply walk out of the boat as we should out of a house on the street-level. The tidal difficulty is met by making the landing-stage a floating one, and of such length that the angle it forms with terra firma is never inconvenient. ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... Creeks, on the smallest Poles, and that without any Fear or Concern. Nay, an Indian will walk on the Ridge of a Barn or House and look down the Gable-end, and spit upon the Ground, as unconcern'd, as if he was walking on Terra firma. In Running, Leaping, or any such other Exercise, their Legs seldom miscarry, and give them a Fall; and as for letting any thing fall out of their Hands, I never yet knew one Example. They are no Inventers of any Arts or Trades worthy ...
— A New Voyage to Carolina • John Lawson

... in the course of her various and adventurous travels, had never quitted terra firma, "then I am doubting we maun gang in ane of these boats; they look unco sma', and the ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... old government road passing the "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

... convalescence, left by the ebb of sickness, yet far enough from the terra firma of established health, your note, dear Editor, reached me, requesting—an article. In Articulo Mortis, thought I; but it is something hard—and the quibble, wretched as it was, relieved me. The summons, ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... not a reasonable chance of 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

... broke in earnest over the Hudson Bay territory that day, and despite the efforts of the voyagers they could not rise in the Snowbird above the tempest. Had there been solid ground beneath them they could easily have descended and remained upon terra firma ...
— On a Torn-Away World • Roy Rockwood

... countries. But even in situations more favourable for acquiring knowledge I believe it will be found that the inhabitants of very large islands, and especially if surrounded by smaller ones, are accustomed to consider their own as terra firma, and to look to no other geographical distinction than that of the district or nation to which they belong. Accordingly we find that the more general names have commonly been given by foreigners, ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden



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



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