Definition of earnest money in US English:

earnest money


  • Money paid to confirm a contract.

    ‘the earnest money shall be enclosed along with the sealed tender documents’
    • ‘He invited bids from construction companies and required a deposit from each as earnest money.’
    • ‘When the stock market started getting a little bit fishy last year, we saw people walk away from significant earnest money, like $70,000, saying they'd come back later.’
    • ‘I paid him on your account 8 drachmae as earnest money to catch mice in Toka.’
    • ‘To me, this program is no different than a real estate escrow account where the agency holds your earnest money.’
    • ‘The downside is, you have to close, or you walk away from your earnest money.’
    • ‘The contractors, who had been allotted the work of providing roads, sewerage, water supply, stormwater drainage and streetlights in the area, have been asked to take back the earnest money deposited by them.’