Earnest definition

ûrnĭst
Money given as a part payment and pledge in binding a bargain.
noun
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Serious and intense; not joking or playful; sincere, ardent, etc.
adjective
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Something given or done as an indication or assurance of what is to come; token.
noun
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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.

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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.

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noun
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To be serious with; use in earnest.
verb
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Serious in speech or action; eager; urgent; importunate; pressing; instant.
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Ardent in the pursuit of an object; eager to obtain or do; zealous with sincerity; with hearty endeavour; heartfelt; fervent; hearty; — used in a good sense; as, earnest prayers.
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Intent; fixed closely; as, earnest attention.
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Possessing or characterised by seriousness; strongly bent; intent.

An earnest disposition.

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Earnest efforts.

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Serious; weighty; of a serious, weighty, or important nature; not trifling or feigned; important.
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A sum of money paid in advance as a deposit; hence, a pledge, a guarantee, an indication of something to come.
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A male given name, an occasional spelling variant of Ernest.
pronoun
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Showing or expressing sincerity or seriousness.

An earnest gesture of goodwill.

adjective
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Earnest money.
noun
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Seriousness; reality; actuality (as opposed to jesting or feigned appearance); fixed determination; eagerness; intentness.
noun
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A token of something to come; a promise or assurance.
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in earnest
  • With a purposeful or sincere intent:
    Settled down to study in earnest for the examination.
  • Serious; determined:
idiom
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in earnest
  • serious; not joking
  • in a serious or determined manner
idiom
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
earnest
Plural:
earnests

Adjective

Base Form:
earnest
Comparative:
earnester

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of earnest

  • 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 ʕrb in Semitic roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English ernest from Old English eornoste er-1 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English ernest, eornest, from Old English eornest, eornost, eornust (“earnestness, zeal, seriousness, battle”), from Proto-Germanic *ernustuz (“earnest, strength, solidity, struggle, fight”), a derivative of Proto-Germanic *arniz (“efficient, capable, diligent, sure”), from Proto-Indo-European *er- (“to cause to move, arouse, increase”). Cognate with West Frisian earnst (“earnest, seriousness”), Dutch ernst (“seriousness, gravity, earnest”), German Ernst (“seriousness, earnestness, zeal, vigour”), Icelandic ern (“brisk, vigorous”), Gothic [script?] (arniba, “secure, certain, sure”).

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English eornest, from Old English eornoste (“earnest, zealous, serious”), from eornost ("earnest", the noun; see above). Cognate with North Frisian ernste (“earnest”), Middle Low German ernest, ernst (“serious, earnest”), German ernst (“serious, earnest”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Of uncertain origin; apparently related to erres. Compare also arles.

    From Wiktionary