earnest Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “earnest” in the English Dictionary

"earnest" in British English

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earnestadjective

uk   /ˈɜː.nɪst/  us   /ˈɝː-/
serious and ​determined, ​especially too ​serious and ​unable to ​findyour own ​actionsfunny: He was a very earnest ​young man.in deadly earnest completelyserious: 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 ​electioncampaign has ​begun in earnest.be in earnest to be ​speakinghonestly: I ​thought he was ​joking - I didn't ​realize he was in earnest.
earnestly
adverb uk   us   /-li/
earnestness
noun [U] uk   /ˈɜː.nɪst.nəs/  us   /ˈɝː-/
(Definition of earnest from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"earnest" in American English

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earnestadjective [not gradable]

 us   /ˈɜr·nəst/
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 ​buildingbegan, in earnest, in late ​spring.
earnestly
adverb [not gradable]  us   /ˈɜr·nəs·tli/
earnestness
noun [U]  us   /ˈɜr·nəst·nəs/
(Definition of earnest from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“earnest” in British English

“earnest” in American English

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