- serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous: an earnest worker.
- showing depth and sincerity of feeling: earnest words; an earnest entreaty.
- seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention.
- full seriousness, as of intention or purpose: to speak in earnest.
Origin of earnest1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for earnest on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for earnestly
Then, as he dutifully, yet earnestly, always does, Drew comes back to a positive place: the message.How the Property Brothers Became Your Mom’s Favorite TV Stars
November 25, 2014
Nor will they reach any satisfying conclusions about life itself no matter how earnestly they pursue them.Lars Iyer’s ‘Wittgenstein Jr.’ Plumbs the Deep Fun of Philosophical Fiction
October 1, 2014
So even the most ridiculous lines have to be said earnestly.‘Sharknado 2’ in Winter: Has the Franchise Jumped the Shark?
July 28, 2014
Reverend Graham drew the meeting to a close by earnestly thanking the president for making the trip up the mountain.When Obama Visited Billy Graham, Each Man Prayed for the Other
November 7, 2013
Her Good Morning America mea culpa was a brilliant cocktail of self-deprecating, earnestly apologetic, and charming.Is Reese Witherspoon’s Drunken Arrest the Best Thing to Happen to Her Career?
May 3, 2013
Philothea had listened so earnestly, that for a moment all other thoughts were expelled from her mind.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
I, too, should earnestly rejoice if such an event could be brought about.Brave and Bold
These objections were earnestly urged when we acquired Louisiana.
I earnestly thanked God for my deliverance on this occasion.Biography of a Slave
We have both been told that we ought to know her, and told so earnestly that we really think we ought.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
- serious in mind or intentionan earnest student
- showing or characterized by sincerity of intentionan earnest promise
- demanding or receiving serious attention
- in earnest with serious or sincere intentions
- a part or portion of something given in advance as a guarantee of the remainder
- Also called: earnest money contract law something given, usually a nominal sum of money, to confirm a contract
- any token of something to follow; pledge; assurance
Word Origin and History for earnestly
from Old English eornoste (adj.) "zealous," or from Old English noun eornost "seriousness, serious intent" (surviving only in the phrase in earnest), from Proto-Germanic *ern "vigor, briskness" (cf. Old Saxon ernust, Old High German arnust "seriousness, firmness, struggle," German Ernst "seriousness;" Gothic arniba "safely, securely;" Old Norse ern "able, vigorous," jarna "fight, combat"). The proper name Ernest (literally "resolute") is from the same root. Related: Earnestly; earnestness.
Idioms and Phrases with earnestly
see in earnest.