Earnestness is a quality of sincere interest, belief, or opinion. The earnestness with which you recite your favorite poem might make your English class stop whispering and really listen.

Your favorite history teacher's earnestness can be seen in the serious, intense way he talks about the Civil War or Prohibition. Little kids often approach the world with an earnestness that's reflected in their amazement and wonder at seemingly ordinary things, like fireflies or simple magic tricks. Earnestness comes from the adjective earnest, "showing sincere conviction," which has an Old English root, eornoste, "zealous."

Definitions of earnestness
  1. noun
    the trait of being serious
    synonyms: serious-mindedness, seriousness, sincerity
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    frivolity, frivolousness
    the trait of being frivolous; not serious or sensible
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    commitment, committedness
    the trait of sincere and steadfast fixity of purpose
    graveness, gravity, soberness, sobriety, somberness, sombreness
    a manner that is serious and solemn
    sedateness, solemness, solemnity, staidness
    a trait of dignified seriousness
    the commitment of something other than money (time, energy, or effort) to a project with the expectation of some worthwhile result
    stodginess, stuffiness
    dull and pompous gravity
    type of:
    a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
  2. noun
    an earnest and sincere feeling
    synonyms: seriousness, sincerity
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    type of:
    gravity, solemnity
    a solemn and dignified feeling
Word Family

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