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Earnest in a Sentence

Examples of earnest in a sentence

Earnest is a slightly difficult word, but we're here to help you better understand it...with EXAMPLES!

When learning new words, it's important to see how they're used, or to see them in the different contexts in which they're often used, and that's just what we'll do to help you better understand earnest (and many other English words!). By seeing different ways you can use earnest in a sentence, as well as synonyms and antonyms of earnest, you will have a much better grasp on how it should be used, and you'll feel more confortable with using it much sooner.

Below you will find the definition of earnest, followed by 40 sample sentences (from real sources), gradually increasing in length.


(adjective) - earnest

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EXAMPLES - Earnest in a Sentence

  1. He stood close beside her, his expression earnest. (source)
  2. His expression earnest, he gestured ingenuously at his aunt. (source)
  3. She leaned forward, her expression earnest and compassionate. (source)
  4. "Do I ever laugh at you, -- in earnest, that is?" he demanded. (source)
  5. I think that "earnest" is a great way to describe the narrative. (source)
  6. And if you are in earnest, is there nothing you have to do besides praying? (source)
  7. It 's this power of self-mystification that makes what you call earnest men. (source)
  8. Please recall my earnest sympathy when you are returned to your isolation ward. (source)
  9. She undid his shirt and placed her hand on his bare chest, her expression earnest. (source)
  10. But apparently I am a "masquerading birther" who doesn't know what "earnest" means. (source)
  11. Crops are coming out in earnest, meaning the geese often have their choice of fields. (source)
  12. Before they got out of the cab Douglass turned to him, his expression earnest at last. (source)
  13. First, you will probably have to give a deposit called earnest money to get the property under contract. (source)
  14. She said she didn't know the details of the alleged dispute about the deposit, also known as earnest money. (source)
  15. They are pure evil, "John answered, his expression earnest and yet Rodney couldn't quite take him seriously. (source)
  16. That duel never materialized in earnest, but Wolf has one more chance to prove he can contribute next season. (source)
  17. Wally swiveled around to look up at Dortmunder, his expression earnest, moist eyes straining to be understood. (source)
  18. Who doubts that in this two-fold designation earnest prayer was made to Him "Who knoweth the hearts of all men"? (source)
  19. Started working in earnest on my next Cemetery Dance column, which is due shortly after I get back from Brighton. (source)
  20. Mr. Wild's acting displays that happy medium between jocularity and earnest, which is the perfection of burlesque. (source)
  21. I take these phrases simply as containing the principle to which I wish to call your earnest attention at the outset. (source)
  22. In fact, I do not recall his earnest concerns over President Bush's many breaches of constitutional limits and common sense. (source)
  23. How vividly the writer recalls her earnest look and tones of voice when she declared to him her desire publicly to confess her (source)
  24. He sent me one this week which, in earnest, is as pretty a thing as I have seen, a China trunk, and the finest of the kind that e'er I saw. (source)
  25. She leaned across the table, her expression earnest and so beautiful he could only stare, marveling at what changes time had wrought in her. (source)
  26. Now that death was near, so near that even now it might be calling his earnest spirit out of the darkness, she would do more -- a thousandfold! (source)
  27. Her expression earnest, she struggled to explain why the lavish production this wedding had turned into was filling her with utter panic and abhorrence. (source)
  28. Thus does the Holy Spirit dwell in a man by grace as the efficient cause of eternal life, wherefore it is called the earnest of our inheritance in II Cor. (source)
  29. Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has issued what she calls an "earnest appeal" for the government and ethnic groups to begin immediate peace talks. (source)
  30. Some of us, through the mists of half a century, distinctly recall the earnest tones in which Mr. Lincoln in public speech uttered the words, 'My fellow-citizens.' (source)
  31. Mrs.J. Merritt Anthony, visited in succession the four polling booths in Leavenworth and addressed the voters in short, earnest speeches as to their duty as citizens. (source)
  32. How vividly the writer recalls her earnest look and tones of voice when she declared to him her desire publicly to confess her Saviour and to remember Him at His table! (source)
  33. They call earnest Christian people 'prigs'; and your mother was so surprised when I told her I belonged to the W.C. T. U., and said, 'Oh, my dear, don't; that sort of thing stamps one!' (source)
  34. Instinctively she recalled the earnest injunction of Father Gervaise to his penitents that, when kneeling before the crucifix, they should repeat: "He ever liveth to make intercession for us." (source)
  35. For we are not to limit, as a great many so-called earnest evangelical teachers and believers do -- we are not to limit His work to that which is effected when a man first becomes a Christian -- viz. pardon and acceptance with God. (source)
  36. The lily was still fresh and wearing its richest bloom in the cheeks of Lucy; her short, light tresses, still hung in girlish confusion about her face and neck, and her soft, bright-blue eyes still beamed with an expression earnest and happy. (source)
  37. "What they should be doing in earnest is forming opinions, not about me but about GM and what this company is doing that is ... hugely beneficial to the causes they so enthusiastically claim to support," he said in a posting titled, "Talk About a Crock." (source)
  38. "Well, perhaps so, my dear, and in theory that is, no doubt, the case; but practically, I fancy you would find nineteen men out of twenty, even if they are what you call earnest men, retire from the ranks of hard workers if they come into a nice property. (source)
  39. However, Lois was earnest in her wish to be left at home; quietly earnest, which is the more difficult to deal with; and, knowing her passionate love for music, Mrs. Wishart decided that it must be her lingering weakness and languor which indisposed her for going. (source)
  40. Algernon might mislead, or point his cousin's passions for a time; yet if they continued their courses together, there was danger that Algernon would degenerate into a reckless subordinate -- a minister, a valet, and be tempted unknowingly to do things in earnest, which is nothing less than perdition to this sort of creature. (source)

Sentence Information

The average Flesch reading-ease score of the 40 example sentences provided below is 65.0, which suggests that "earnest" is a standard word that is understood by individuals with a high school diploma or degree, and can be found in news articles, books, magazines and other places.


We have 21 synonyms for earnest.

ardent, busy, devoted, diligent, eager, fervent, fervid, heartfelt, impassioned, industrious, keen, passionate, perseverant, purposeful, sedulous, sincere, urgent, vehement, warm, wholehearted, zealous


We have 18 antonyms for earnest.

apathetic, cold, cool, dispassionate, flippant, frigid, indifferent, insincere, thoughtless, trivial, unconcerned, unenthusiastic, unexcited, unimportant, unpassionate, unpurposeful, unserious, unthoughtful


Pronunciation: (ûrˈnĭst)

Syllabification: ear-nest


View up to 25 definitions of earnest from 5 different sources, as well as parts of speech.

from The American Heritage© Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
  1. (adjective) Marked by or showing deep sincerity or seriousness: an earnest gesture of goodwill.
  2. (adjective) Of an important or weighty nature; grave. See Synonyms at serious.
  3. (idiom) in earnest With a purposeful or sincere intent: settled down to study in earnest for the examination.
  4. (idiom) in earnest Serious; determined: "Both sides are deeply in earnest, with passions that approximate those of civil war” ( Conor Cruise O'Brien).
  5. (noun) Money paid in advance as part payment to bind a contract or bargain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
  1. (noun) Gravity; serious purpose; earnestness.
  2. (noun) Seriousness; reality; actuality (as opposed to jesting or feigned appearance); fixed determination; eagerness; intentness.
  3. (verb) To be serious with; use in earnest.
  4. (adjective) Serious in speech or action; eager; urgent; importunate; pressing; instant.
  5. (adjective) Ardent in the pursuit of an object; eager to obtain or do; zealous with sincerity; with hearty endeavour; heartfelt; fervent; hearty; — used in a good sense; as, earnest prayers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
  1. (noun) Seriousness; reality; fixed determination; eagerness; intentness.
  2. (adjective) Ardent in the pursuit of an object; eager to obtain or do; zealous with sincerity; with hearty endeavor; heartfelt; fervent; hearty; -- used in a good sense.
  3. (adjective) Intent; fixed closely.
  4. (adjective) Serious; important.
  5. (verb-transitive) To use in earnest.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  1. (noun) Gravity; serious purpose; earnestness.
  2. (noun) Seriousness; reality; actuality, as opposed to jesting or feigned appearance.
  3. (None) Serious in speech or action; eager; urgent; importunate; pressing; instant: as, earnest in prayer.
  4. (None) Possessing or characterized by seriousness in seeking, doing, etc.; strongly bent; intent: as, an earnest disposition.
  5. (None) Strenuous; diligent: as, earnest efforts.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
  1. (noun) something of value given by one person to another to bind a contract
  2. (adjective) characterized by a firm and humorless belief in the validity of your opinions
  3. (adjective) not distracted by anything unrelated to the goal