1) PHRASE: PHR after v If something is done or happens in earnest, it happens to a much greater extent and more seriously than before.

Campaigning will begin in earnest tomorrow...

The two countries can finally start negotiating in earnest about issues of mutual concern.

2) ADJ-GRADED Earnest people are very serious and sincere in what they say or do, because they think that their actions and beliefs are important.

Ella was a pious, earnest woman...

His expression is as earnest when he smiles as when he is arguing...

Despite their earnest efforts, they still struggle to win support.

Derived words:
earnestness N-UNCOUNT

He was admired by many for his earnestness.

3) PHRASE: usu v PHR, v-link PHR If you are in earnest, you are sincere in what you are doing and saying.

It presented in satirical terms points made in earnest by Catholic writers...

No one could tell whether he was in earnest or in jest.

English dictionary. 2008.


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