Definition of in earnest in English:

in earnest


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

    ‘work began again 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.’
    • ‘This worldwide expansion, which began in earnest in the early 1970s, has not been without difficulties.’
    • ‘Kim Dae-jung's government made a ruthless decision, and carried out the plan in earnest.’
    • ‘That evening, a reception was held to meet other members of the party and the next morning the adventure began in earnest.’
    • ‘Images of sun-kissed beaches wash over us as the travel agents' television advertising campaigns begin in earnest.’
    • ‘And, overhead, the canopy of the oak tree is beginning to bud out in earnest.’
    • ‘The inquiry begins in earnest as the first witnesses give evidence.’
    • ‘Fitness training and some less serious stuff will continue throughout the summer before training starts in earnest in July.’
    • ‘If comparativism continues to gather momentum, as seems likely, Scalia's question may be taken up in earnest.’
    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.’