There are 2 definitions of earnest in English:

earnest1

Line breaks: earn|est
Pronunciation: /ˈəːnɪst
 
/

adjective

Phrases

in earnest

To a greater extent or more intensely than before: work began again in earnest
More example sentences
  • Images of sun-kissed beaches wash over us as the travel agents' television advertising campaigns begin in earnest.
  • This worldwide expansion, which began in earnest in the early 1970s, has not been without difficulties.
  • The inquiry begins in earnest as the first witnesses give evidence.
(Of a person) sincere and serious in intention: Cameron looked at him to make sure he was in earnest
More example sentences
  • We move on to Knightley and at first you think he can't be serious, but Sutherland is always in earnest, even when joking.
Synonyms
serious, not joking, sincere, wholehearted, genuine; committed, firm, resolute, resolved, determined, insistentzealously, purposefully, determinedly, resolutely, with enthusiasm, with dedication, with commitment; ardently, fervently, fervidly, passionately, wholeheartedly

Derivatives

earnestness

noun
More example sentences
  • They tried their hand at exquisite and complex movements in all earnestness and their exuberance made them appear younger.
  • There is even something touching about the earnestness of their enthusiasm.
  • His lyrics are straightforward, and not always the most poetic or intelligent, but his earnestness is evident.

Origin

Old English eornoste (adjective), eornost (noun), of Germanic origin; related to German Ernst (noun).

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Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space

There are 2 definitions of earnest in English:

earnest2

Line breaks: earn|est
Pronunciation: /ˈəːnɪst
 
/

noun

[in singular]
  • A thing intended or regarded as a sign or promise of what is to come: the very deliberateness of their disguise is an earnest of their real aloofness
    More example sentences
    • It is but a trifle that Sauron fancies, and an earnest of your good will.
    • It was a touching tribute never since accorded to any other author, and an earnest of the esteem in which he was held.

Origin

Middle English ernes, literally 'instalment paid to confirm a contract', based on Old French erres, from Latin arra, shortened form of arrabo 'a pledge'. The spelling was influenced by words ending in -ness; the final -t is probably by association with earnest1.

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