Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “earnest”

earnest

adjective [not gradable]  /ˈɜr·nəst/ us  
sincere and serious: She made an earnest attempt to convert me to her point of view. in earnest If something is done in earnest, it is done seriously: Work on the building began, in earnest, in late spring.
earnestly
adverb [not gradable]  /ˈɜr·nəs·tli/ us  
earnestness
noun [U]  /ˈɜr·nəst·nəs/ us  
(Definition of earnest from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of earnest?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “earnest” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

roost

When birds roost, they go somewhere to rest or sleep.

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More