in earnest

(redirected from act in 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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