- The definition of earnest is intense and not playful, or important.
- An example of someone earnest is a preacher speaking to a congregation of devout followers.
- A lesson on how to correctly perform CPR is an example of something earnest.
- Earnest is defined as the state of being serious or intense.
- A contract is an agreement that is an example of something made in earnest.
- An artist who works constantly and makes many pieces of art each day is an example of working in earnest.
earnest definition by Webster's New World
- serious and intense; not joking or playful; zealous and sincere
- not petty or trivial; important
Origin: Middle English ernest ; from Old English eornoste ; from eornost, earnestness, zeal, akin to German ernst, seriousness (OHG ernust) ; from Indo-European base an unverified form er-, to set oneself in motion, arouse from source run
- money given as a part payment and pledge in binding a bargainin full earnest money
- something given or done as an indication or assurance of what is to come; token
Origin: altered (after earnest) ; from Middle English ernes ; from Old French erres ; from Classical Latin arrae, plural of arra, arrabo, earnest money ; from Classical Greek arrabōn ; from Classical Hebrew (language) eravon ; from arav, to guarantee, pledge
earnest definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Marked by or showing deep sincerity or seriousness: an earnest gesture of goodwill.
- Of an important or weighty nature; grave. See Synonyms at serious.
Origin: Middle English ernest, from Old English eornoste; see er-1 in Indo-European roots.
- earˈnest·ly adverb
- earˈnest·ness noun
- Money paid in advance as part payment to bind a contract or bargain.
- A token of something to come; a promise or an assurance.
Origin: Middle English ernest, variant of ernes, alteration of Old French erres, pl. of erre, pledge, from Latin arra, alteration of arrabō, from Greek arrabōn, earnest-money, of Canaanite origin; see עrb in Semitic roots.
earnest - Phrases/Idioms
- serious; not joking
- in a serious or determined manner
- With a purposeful or sincere intent: settled down to study in earnest for the examination.
- Serious; determined: “Both sides are deeply in earnest, with passions that approximate those of civil war” (Conor Cruise O'Brien).