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ear·nest 1

Showing or expressing sincerity or seriousness: an earnest gesture of goodwill. See Synonyms at serious.
in earnest
1. With a purposeful or sincere intent: settled down to study in earnest for the examination.
2. Serious; determined: "Both sides are deeply in earnest, with passions that approximate those of civil war" (Conor Cruise O'Brien).

[Middle English ernest, from Old English eornoste; see er- in Indo-European roots.]

ear′nest·ly adv.
ear′nest·ness n.

ear·nest 2

1. Earnest money.
2. A token of something to come; a promise or assurance.

[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 ʕrb in Semitic roots.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.earnestly - in a serious manner; "talking earnestly with his son"; "she started studying snakes in earnest"; "a play dealing seriously with the question of divorce"


1. seriously, truly, sincerely, in earnest, in all sincerity `Do you really mean it?' she asked earnestly.
2. genuinely, keenly, eagerly, passionately, enthusiastically, fervently, ardently, fanatically, devotedly I earnestly hope what I learned will serve me well in my new job.
3. sincerely, really, truly, honestly, wholeheartedly, in all sincerity, from the bottom of your heart He is earnestly pursuing these objectives.
af einlægni; alvarlega


[ˈɜːnɪstlɪ] ADV [speak] → en serio; [work] → afanosamente, con empeño; [pray] → fervorosamente, fervientemente
I earnestly entreat you (frm or liter) → se lo suplico de todo corazón


[ˈɜːrnɪstli] adv
(= seriously) [say] → avec le plus grand sérieux; [listen] → avec sérieux
(= sincerely) [hope, wish] → sincèrement


adv say, askernst, ernsthaft; talk, discuss, work, tryernsthaft; explainim Ernst, ernsthaft; hopeaufrichtig, innig; lookernst


[ˈɜːnɪstlɪ] adv (speak) → con serietà; (work) → con coscienza; (pray) → con fervore


(ˈəːnist) adjective
1. serious or over-serious. an earnest student; She wore an earnest expression.
2. showing determination, sincerity or strong feeling. He made an earnest attempt to improve his work.
ˈearnestness noun
earnestly adverb
in earnest
1. serious; not joking. I am in earnest when I say this.
2. seriously; with energy and determination. He set to work in earnest.
References in classic literature ?
Meg spoke earnestly, and forgot herself entirely till something in the brown eyes looking down at her made her remember the cooling tea, and lead the way into the parlor, saying she would call her mother.
Pausing in his speech, Wing Biddlebaum looked long and earnestly at George Willard.
Tom and his father had several consultations and conducted several experiments in regard to the new stabilizer, the completion of which was so earnestly desired.
Jim,' she said earnestly, `if I was put down there in the middle of the night, I could find my way all over that little town; and along the river to the next town, where my grandmother lived.
They spoke together earnestly in the Delaware language, though in an undertone; and by the gestures of the white man, which were frequently directed towards the top of the sapling, it was evident he pointed out the situation of their hidden enemy.
Hepzibah bade her young guest sit down, and, herself taking a chair near by, looked as earnestly at Phoebe's trim little figure as if she expected to see right into its springs and motive secrets.
Believe me, Hester, there are few things whether in the outward world, or, to a certain depth, in the invisible sphere of thought -- few things hidden from the man who devotes himself earnestly and unreservedly to the solution of a mystery.
What I was doing was what he had earnestly hoped and directly asked of me, and that I COULD, after all, do it proved even a greater joy than I had expected.
The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvellous, considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on no account can a monied man enter heaven.
But by desperate endeavor we at last shot into a temporary opening; then giving way rapidly, and at the same time earnestly watching for another outlet.
I must go," he said earnestly, "please to open the door, and let us lose no time.
This being evidently the central point of the entertainment, Aunt Chloe began now to bustle about earnestly in the supper department.