If you are earnest, it means you are serious about something. Your parents might not want you to drop out of school to follow some fly-by-night dream, but if you're earnest about wanting a career in show biz, they'll support you.

If you are earnest, you pursue your purpose in a steady, sincere, and eager way. The phrase in earnest uses earnest as a noun, as in, "Once you stop fooling around and start studying in earnest, you'll find you learn the material quickly." Oscar Wilde's classic play The Importance of Being Earnest plays on the fact that Ernest is also a man's name.

Definitions of earnest
  1. adjective
    characterized by a firm and humorless belief in the validity of your opinions
    “both sides were deeply in earnest, even passionate”
    synonyms: sincere, solemn
    concerned with work or important matters rather than play or trivialities
  2. adjective
    devout or heartfelt
    synonyms: dear, devout, heartfelt
    open and genuine; not deceitful
  3. adjective
    not distracted by anything unrelated to the goal
    synonyms: businesslike
    serving as or indicating the existence of a purpose or goal
  4. noun
    something of value given by one person to another to bind a contract
    see moresee less
    arles, earnest money
    money given by a buyer to a seller to bind a contract
    type of:
    security, surety
    property that your creditor can claim in case you default on your obligation
Word Family

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