ear·nest 1 (ûrnĭst)
Showing or expressing sincerity or seriousness: an earnest gesture of goodwill. See Synonyms at serious.
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).
[Middle English ernest, from Old English eornoste; see er-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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