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Definition of Earnest


  1. Seriousness; reality; fixed determination; eagerness; intentness.
  2. 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. Intent; fixed closely; as, earnest attention.
  4. Serious; important.
  5. To use in earnest.
  6. Something given, or a part paid beforehand, as a pledge; pledge; handsel; a token of what is to come.
  7. Something of value given by the buyer to the seller, by way of token or pledge, to bind the bargain and prove the sale.

Earnest Quotations

A youth, when at home, should be filial and, abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all and cultivate the friendship of the good. When he has time and opportunity, after the performance of these things, he should employ them in polite studies.

I am in earnest - I will not equivocate - I will not excuse - I will not retreat a single inch - and I will be heard!
William Lloyd Garrison

That is why, no matter how desperate the predicament is, I am always very much in earnest about clutching my cane, straightening my derby hat and fixing my tie, even though I have just landed on my head.
Charlie Chaplin

This man is frank and earnest with women. In Fresno, he's Frank and in Chicago he's Ernest.
Henny Youngman

The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.
Henry David Thoreau
More "Earnest" Quotations

Earnest Translations

earnest in Danish is alvorlig
earnest in Dutch is serieus, ernstig, bona fide, stemmig
earnest in Finnish is vakava
earnest in German is ernst
earnest in Italian is serio, grave
earnest in Norwegian is alvorlig
earnest in Spanish is serio
earnest in Swedish is allvar, allvarlig
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