in earnest

(redirected from in dead earnest)

in earnest

With sincere intentions. If the two sides can't sit down and negotiate in earnest, they're never going to come to an agreement.

*in earnest

with sincerity. (*Typically: act ~; be ~; speak ~.) I've done all the research I need. I spent the day writing the paper in earnest. Mary's comments were in earnest. She really meant them.

in earnest

1. With purposeful or sincere intent, as in We settled down to study in earnest. [c. a.d. 1000]
2. Also, in dead earnest. Serious, determined, as in We thought he was joking, but he was in earnest, or I'm in dead earnest about selling the business. In the variant, from the late 1800s, dead means "completely" or "thoroughly" and is used purely for emphasis. [c. a.d. 1000]

in ˈearnest


1 more seriously and with more force or effort than before: The work on the building will begin in earnest on Monday.
2 very serious and sincere about what you are saying and about your intentions; in a way that shows that you are serious: You may laugh but I’m in deadly earnest.I could tell she was speaking in earnest.

in earnest

1. With a purposeful or sincere intent: settled down to study in earnest for the examination.
2. Serious; determined: "Both sides are deeply in earnest, with passions that approximate those of civil war" (Conor Cruise O'Brien).
References in classic literature ?
Five big corporations and the two railroads have taken the thing up in dead earnest.