in earnest

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English[edit]

Adjective[edit]

in earnest

  1. Sincere; determined; truthful; agood
    • 1839, Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby, ch. 29:
      "I wasn't in earnest. I only brought it in joke."
    • 1845, Caroline Kirkland, Western Clearings, Wiley and Putnam, p. 104:
      She replied, "When did I ever tell you a lie ? I am in earnest."
    • 1916, Elbert Hubbard, Little Journeys Vol. 3: American Statesmen, "Samuel Adams":
      Samuel was stern, serious and deeply in earnest. He seldom smiled and never laughed. He was uncompromisingly religious, conscientious and morally unbending.

Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

in earnest

  1. Seriously; sincerely, in a significant manner; with considerable commitment, determination, or effect.
    It's snowing in earnest right now.
    • 1841, Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, ch. 11:
      The gentlemen wear swords, and may easily have pistols in their pockets—most likely have, indeed. If they fire at each other without effect, then they’ll draw, and go to work in earnest.
    • 1854, Henry David Thoreau, Walden, ch. 11:
      But I see that if I were to live in a wilderness I should again be tempted to become a fisher and hunter in earnest.
    • 1995, Guerry Clegg, "Mason era ends quickly at Georgia," Gainesville Sun, 27 Dec., p. 2C (retrieved 20 Aug. 2010):
      He spoke in earnest of the importance of achieving academic excellence as well as winning football games.
    • 2001, Alex Perry, "Eyewitness: The Taliban Undone," Time, 14 Nov.:
      The Northern Alliance attacked in earnest on Friday night, and the Afghan Taliban soldiers immediately switched sides, while their commanders jumped into pickup trucks and sped south.
    • 2013 August 3, “Yesterday’s fuel”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      The dawn of the oil age was fairly recent. Although the stuff was used to waterproof boats in the Middle East 6,000 years ago, extracting it in earnest began only in 1859 after an oil strike in Pennsylvania. The first barrels of crude fetched $18 (around $450 at today’s prices).

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