Definition of in earnest in English:

in earnest


  • 1To a greater extent or more intensely than before.

    ‘work began again in earnest’
    • ‘That evening, a reception was held to meet other members of the party and the next morning the adventure began in earnest.’
    • ‘Kim Dae-jung's government made a ruthless decision, and carried out the plan in earnest.’
    • ‘Frost, strong winds and heavy rain will take their toll on the show of leaves as winter sets in in earnest.’
    • ‘The veterans group and your people back home are planning the September ceremony in earnest.’
    • ‘Images of sun-kissed beaches wash over us as the travel agents' television advertising campaigns begin in earnest.’
    • ‘This worldwide expansion, which began in earnest in the early 1970s, has not been without difficulties.’
    • ‘Fitness training and some less serious stuff will continue throughout the summer before training starts in earnest in July.’
    • ‘And, overhead, the canopy of the oak tree is beginning to bud out in earnest.’
    • ‘If comparativism continues to gather momentum, as seems likely, Scalia's question may be taken up in earnest.’
    • ‘The inquiry begins in earnest as the first witnesses give evidence.’
    1. 1.1 (of a person) sincere and serious in intention.
      ‘Cameron looked at him to make sure he was in earnest’
      • ‘We move on to Knightley and at first you think he can't be serious, but Sutherland is always in earnest, even when joking.’
      serious, not joking, sincere, wholehearted, genuine
      zealously, purposefully, determinedly, resolutely, with enthusiasm, with dedication, with commitment
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