Definitions for earnestˈɜr nɪst

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word earnest

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

ear•nest*ˈɜr nɪst(adj.)

  1. serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous.

  2. showing depth and sincerity of feeling:

    an earnest entreaty.

  3. seriously important; grave.

  4. (n.)full seriousness, as of intention or purpose:

    to be in earnest.

* Syn: earnest , resolute , serious , sincere imply having qualities of steady purposefulness. earnest implies having a purpose and being steadily and soberly eager in pursuing it: an earnest student.resolute adds a quality of determination: resolute in defending the rights of others.serious implies having depth and a soberness of attitude that contrasts with gaiety and frivolity; it may include the qualities of both earnestness and resolution: serious and thoughtful.sincere suggests genuineness, trustworthiness, and absence of superficiality: a sincere interest in a person's welfare.

Origin of earnest:

bef. 1000; ME ernest, OE eornost zeal, seriousness, c. MLG ernest, OHG ernust


ear•nestˈɜr nɪst(n.)

  1. a portion of something, given or done in advance as a pledge of the remainder.

  2. money given by a buyer to a seller to bind a contract.

    Category: Law

Origin of earnest:

1175–1225; ME ernes(t), alter. of OF erres, pl. of erre earnest money < L arr(h)a short for arr(h)abō < Gk arrhabṓn < Semitic (cf. Heb ‘ērābhōn security, pledge)

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

Anagrams of earnest

  1. estrane

  2. eastern

  3. nearest

  4. sterane

Translations for earnest

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


serious or over-serious

an earnest student; She wore an earnest expression.

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