What does earnest mean?

Definitions for earnestˈɜr nɪst

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word earnest.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. earnest(adj)

    something of value given by one person to another to bind a contract

  2. earnest, sincere, solemn(adj)

    characterized by a firm and humorless belief in the validity of your opinions

    "both sides were deeply in earnest, even passionate"; "an entirely sincere and cruel tyrant"; "a film with a solemn social message"

  3. dear, devout, earnest, heartfelt(adj)


    "one's dearest wish"; "devout wishes for their success"; "heartfelt condolences"

  4. businesslike, earnest(adj)

    not distracted by anything unrelated to the goal


  1. Earnest(ProperNoun)

    , an occasional spelling variant of Ernest.

  2. Origin: Of uncertain origin; apparently related to erres. Compare also arles.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Earnest(noun)

    seriousness; reality; fixed determination; eagerness; intentness

  2. Earnest(adj)

    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

  3. Earnest(adj)

    intent; fixed closely; as, earnest attention

  4. Earnest(adj)

    serious; important

  5. Earnest(verb)

    to use in earnest

  6. Earnest(noun)

    something given, or a part paid beforehand, as a pledge; pledge; handsel; a token of what is to come

  7. Earnest(noun)

    something of value given by the buyer to the seller, by way of token or pledge, to bind the bargain and prove the sale

  8. Origin: [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.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Earnest

    ėr′nest, adj. showing strong desire: determined: eager to obtain: intent: sincere: serious.—n. seriousness: reality.—adv. Ear′nestly.—n. Ear′nestness. [A.S. eornost, seriousness; Ger. ernst.]

  2. Earnest

    ėr′nest, n. money given in token of a bargain made—also Ear′nest-mon′ey, Ear′nest-penn′y: a pledge: first-fruits. [Ety. obscure; possibly conn. with arles.]

Anagrams for earnest »

  1. estrane

  2. eastern

  3. nearest

  4. sterane


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of earnest in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of earnest in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Reinhold Niebuhr:

    All you earnest young men out to save the world please, have a laugh.

  2. Hubert Humphrey:

    Men in earnest have no time to waste In patching fig-leaves for the naked truth.

  3. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

    Life is real Life is earnest And the grave is not its goal Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul.

  4. Confucius:

    I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there.

  5. Ray Washburne:

    The fact that he's jumped ahead with donors hasn't concerned us too much. We're going to get the governor's events started in earnest in March.

Images & Illustrations of earnest

Translations for earnest

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"earnest." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 23 Apr. 2017. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/earnest>.

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