earnest

earnest
[[t]ɜ͟ː(r)nɪst[/t]]
1) PHRASE: PHR after v If something is done or happens in earnest, it happens to a much greater extent and more seriously than before.

Campaigning will begin in earnest tomorrow...

The two countries can finally start negotiating in earnest about issues of mutual concern.

Syn:
2) ADJ-GRADED Earnest people are very serious and sincere in what they say or do, because they think that their actions and beliefs are important.

Ella was a pious, earnest woman...

His expression is as earnest when he smiles as when he is arguing...

Despite their earnest efforts, they still struggle to win support.

Syn:
Derived words:
earnestness N-UNCOUNT

He was admired by many for his earnestness.

3) PHRASE: usu v PHR, v-link PHR If you are in earnest, you are sincere in what you are doing and saying.

It presented in satirical terms points made in earnest by Catholic writers...

No one could tell whether he was in earnest or in jest.


English dictionary. 2008.

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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Earnest — Ear nest, n. [Prob. corrupted fr. F. arrhes, L. arra, arrha, arrhabo, Gr. arrabw n, of Semitic origin, cf. Heb. [=e]r[=a]v[=o]n; or perh. fr. W. ernes, akin to Gael. earlas, perh. fr. L. arra. Cf. {Arles}, {Earles penny}.] 1. Something given, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Earnest — Ear nest, a. 1. Ardent in the pursuit of an object; eager to obtain or do; zealous with sincerity; with hearty endeavor; heartfelt; fervent; hearty; used in a good sense; as, earnest prayers. [1913 Webster] An earnest advocate to plead for him.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • earnest — ear·nest / ər nəst/ n [Anglo French ernes(t) erles, alteration of Old French erres, plural of erre pledge, earnest, alteration of Latin arra, short for arrabo, from Greek arrhabōn, of Semitic origin]: something of value given by a buyer to a… …   Law dictionary

  • Earnest — Ear nest ([ e]r n[e^]st), n. [AS. eornost, eornest; akin to OHG. ernust, G. ernst; cf. Icel. orrosta battle, perh. akin to Gr. orny nai to excite, L. oriri to rise.] Seriousness; reality; fixed determination; eagerness; intentness. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • earnest — earnest1 [ʉr′nist] adj. [ME ernest < OE eornoste < eornost, earnestness, zeal, akin to Ger ernst, seriousness (OHG ernust) < IE base * er , to set oneself in motion, arouse > RUN] 1. serious and intense; not joking or playful; zealous …   English World dictionary

  • Earnest — Ear nest, v. t. To use in earnest. [R.] [1913 Webster] To earnest them [our arms] with men. Pastor Fido (1602). [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • earnest — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ intensely serious. ● in earnest Cf. ↑in earnest DERIVATIVES earnestly adverb earnestness noun. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • earnest — from O.E. eornoste (adj.) zealous, or from O.E. noun eornost seriousness, serious intent (surviving only in the phrase in earnest), from P.Gmc. *ern vigor, briskness (Cf. O.S. ernust, O.H.G. arnust seriousness, firmness, struggle, Ger. Ernst… …   Etymology dictionary

  • earnest — adj *serious, solemn, grave, somber, sober, sedate, staid Analogous words: zealous, enthusiastic, passionate (see corresponding nouns at PASSION): diligent, *busy, industrious, assiduous, sedulous: *sincere, wholehearted, whole souled Antonyms:… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • earnest — [adj1] very enthusiastic ardent, busy, devoted, diligent, eager, fervent, fervid, heartfelt, impassioned, industrious, keen, passionate, perseverant, purposeful, sedulous, sincere, urgent, vehement, warm, wholehearted, zealous; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • earnest — ear|nest1 [ˈə:nıst US ˈə:r ] adj [: Old English; Origin: eornost] very serious and sincere ▪ a rather earnest young man ▪ Matthews was in earnest conversation with a young girl. ▪ an earnest desire to offer something useful to society earnest… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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