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English definition of “earnest”

earnest

adjective uk   /ˈɜː.nɪst/ us    /ˈɝː-/
serious or determined, especially too serious and unable to find your own actions funny: He was a very earnest young man. in deadly earnest completely serious: These fanatics are in deadly earnest when they say they want to destroy all forms of government. in earnest When something begins in earnest, it has already started but is now being done in a serious and complete way: The election campaign has begun in earnest. be in earnest to be speaking honestly: I thought he was joking - I didn't realize he was in earnest.
earnestly
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
earnestness
noun [U] uk   /ˈɜː.nɪst.nəs/ us    /ˈɝː-/
(Definition of earnest from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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