earnest

1 [ur-nist]
adjective
1.
serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous: an earnest worker.
2.
showing depth and sincerity of feeling: earnest words; an earnest entreaty.
3.
seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention.
noun
4.
full seriousness, as of intention or purpose: to speak in earnest.

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English erneste, Old English eornoste (adj.); Middle English ernest, Old English eornost (noun); cognate with Dutch, German ernest

earnestly, adverb
earnestness, noun


1. fervent, intent, purposeful, determined, industrious, ambitious. Earnest, resolute, serious, sincere imply having qualities of depth and firmness. 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 right. 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 music.


1. frivolous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
earnest1 (ˈɜːnɪst)
 
adj
1.  serious in mind or intention: an earnest student
2.  showing or characterized by sincerity of intention: an earnest promise
3.  demanding or receiving serious attention
 
n
4.  seriousness
5.  in earnest with serious or sincere intentions
 
[Old English eornost; related to Old High German ernust seriousness, Old Norse ern energetic, efficient, Gothic arniba secure]
 
'earnestly1
 
adv
 
'earnestness1
 
n

earnest2 (ˈɜːnɪst)
 
n
1.  a part or portion of something given in advance as a guarantee of the remainder
2.  contract law Also called: earnest money something given, usually a nominal sum of money, to confirm a contract
3.  any token of something to follow; pledge; assurance
 
[C13: from Old French erres pledges, plural of erre earnest money, from Latin arrha, shortened from arrabō pledge, from Greek arrabon, from Hebrew `ērābhōn pledge, from `ārabh he pledged]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

earnest
O.E. eornoste (adj.) from a noun eornost "passion, zeal" (surviving only in the phrase in earnest), from P.Gmc. *ern "vigor, briskness" (cf. O.H.G. arnust "struggle," Goth. arniba "safely," O.N. jarna "fight, combat") The proper name Ernest (lit. "resolute") is from the same root. Related: Earnestly;
earnestness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Earnest definition


The Spirit is the earnest of the believer's destined inheritance (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14). The word thus rendered is the same as that rendered "pledge" in Gen. 38:17-20; "indeed, the Hebrew word has simply passed into the Greek and Latin languages, probably through commercial dealings with the Phoenicians, the great trading people of ancient days. Originally it meant no more than a pledge; but in common usage it came to denote that particular kind of pledge which is a part of the full price of an article paid in advance; and as it is joined with the figure of a seal when applied to the Spirit, it seems to be used by Paul in this specific sense." The Spirit's gracious presence and working in believers is a foretaste to them of the blessedness of heaven. God is graciously pleased to give not only pledges but foretastes of future blessedness.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
There is an almost childlike earnestness about him, a visible determination to
  win over any doubters.
His interview with a local television station indicates his earnestness.
Even his opponents admitted to admiring the earnestness with which he defended
  a cause.
But his earnestness and enthusiasm have served him well among entertainment
  execs.
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