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Meaning of EARNEST

Pronunciation:  'urnist

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  something of value given by one person to another to bind a contract
  2. [adj]  not distracted by anything unrelated to the goal
  3. [adj]  characterized by a firm and humorless belief in the validity of your opinions; "both sides were deeply in earnest, even passionate"; "an entirely sincere and cruel tyrant"; "a film with a solemn social message"
  4. [adj]  earnest; "one's dearest wish"; "devout wishes for their success"; "heartfelt condolences"

EARNEST is a 7 letter word that starts with E.


 Synonyms: businesslike, dear, devout, heartfelt, in earnest(p), purposeful, serious, sincere, solemn
 See Also: earnest money, security, surety



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Ear"nest\, n. [AS. eornost, eornest; akin to OHG.
    ernust, G. ernst; cf. Icel. orrosta battle, perh. akin to Gr.
    ? to excite, L. oriri to rise.]
    Seriousness; reality; fixed determination; eagerness;
          Take heed that this jest do not one day turn to
          earnest.                                 --Sir P.
          And given in earnest what I begged in jest. --Shak.
    {In earnest}, serious; seriously; not in jest; earnestly.
  2. \Ear"nest\, a.
    1. 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
             An earnest advocate to plead for him. --Shak.
    2. Intent; fixed closely; as, earnest attention.
    3. Serious; important. [Obs.]
             They whom earnest lets do often hinder. --Hooker.
    Syn: Eager; warm; zealous; ardent; animated; importunate;
         fervent; sincere; serious; hearty; urgent. See {Eager}.
  3. \Ear"nest\, v. t.
    To use in earnest. [R.]
          To earnest them [our arms] with men.     --Pastor Fido
  4. \Ear"nest\, n. [Prob. corrupted fr. F. arrhes, L. arra,
    arrha, arrhabo, Gr. 'arrabw`n, of Semitic origin, cf. Heb.
    [=e]r[=a]v[=o]n; or perh. fr. W. ernes, akin to Gael. earlas,
    perh. fr. L. arra. Cf. {Arles}, {Earles penny}.]
    1. Something given, or a part paid beforehand, as a pledge;
       pledge; handsel; a token of what is to come.
             Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of
             the Spirit in our hearts.             --2 Cor. i.
             And from his coffers Received the golden earnest of
             our death.                            --Shak.
    2. (Law) Something of value given by the buyer to the seller,
       by way of token or pledge, to bind the bargain and prove
       the sale. --Kent. Ayliffe. Benjamin.
    {Earnest money} (Law), money paid as earnest, to bind a
       bargain or to ratify and prove a sale.
    Syn: {Earnest}, {Pledge}.
    Usage: These words are here compared as used in their
           figurative sense. Earnest is not so strong as pledge.
           An earnest, like first fruits, gives assurance, or at
           least a high probability, that more is coming of the
           same kind; a pledge, like money deposited, affords
           security and ground of reliance for the future.
           Washington gave earnest of his talent as commander by
           saving his troops after Braddock's defeat; his
           fortitude and that of his soldiers during the winter
           at Valley Forge might rightly be considered a pledge
           of their ultimate triumph.
Easton Bible Dictionary

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.

Thesaurus Terms
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