• WordNet 3.6
    • n earnestness the trait of being serious "a lack of solemnity is not necessarily a lack of seriousness"- Robert Rice"
    • n earnestness an earnest and sincere feeling
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Earnestness The state or quality of being earnest; intentness; anxiety. "An honest earnestness in the young man's manner."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n earnestness Intentness or zeal in the pursuit of anything; eagerness; strong or eager desire; energetic striving: as, to seek or ask with earnestness; to engage in a work with earnestness.
    • n earnestness Anxious care; solicitude; strength of feeling; seriousness: as, a man of great earnestness; the charge was maintained with much earnestness.
    • n earnestness Synonyms 1. Zeal, Enthusiasm, etc. See eagerness.
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  • Henry David Thoreau
    “I have lived some thirty-odd years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    “At seventy-seven it is time to be in earnest.”
  • Terence
    “You believe easily that which you hope for earnestly.”
  • William James
    “Act in earnest and you will become earnest in all you do.”
  • J. J. Procter
    J. J. Procter
    “There are things of deadly earnest that can only be mentioned under the cover of a joke.”
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    “Life is real! Life is earnest! And death is not its goal. Dust thou art, to dust returneth, was not spoken of the soul.”


In literature:

Mrs. Harris was eager to listen to the Englishman's reply for often she had earnestly talked the matter over in her home.
"The Harris-Ingram Experiment" by Charles E. Bolton
I earnestly entreated him, when upon his death-bed, to make a more equitable will.
"Mark Hurdlestone" by Susanna Moodie
He is very clever, and very much in earnest over everything.
"The Half-Hearted" by John Buchan
But mind you, these Japanese soldiers and their officers were in earnest.
"The Young Man and the World" by Albert J. Beveridge
With calmness, solemnity and earnestness, He made a sublime declaration to her, meant for Jews, Samaritans and all men.
"A Life of St. John for the Young" by George Ludington Weed
I need not say how earnestly I hope for its early enactment into law.
"President Wilson's Addresses" by Woodrow Wilson
I was in deid earnest, an' I'm richt, as ye'll maybe live to prove.
"The Guinea Stamp" by Annie S. Swan
His Highness raged and stormed, but I told him a few things I knew about his brother, and I made him see that I was in earnest.
"The Stolen Singer" by Martha Idell Fletcher Bellinger
Every branch of business is urged forward with all practical earnestness.
"Mrs Whittelsey's Magazine for Mothers and Daughters" by Various
To win the way to it, there must be not only earnestness of love, but earnestness of life.
"Dream Life" by Donald G. Mitchell

In poetry:

In tracing here these lines, my friend,
Which spring from friendly heart,
I here record an earnest wish,
For thee, before we part:
"To Miss - - -" by Thomas Frederick Young
An earnest will can ne'er be still
Though oft its hopes be baffled,
It will succeed though victims bleed
And die upon the scaffold.
"Duty Done" by Jared Barhite
"Earnest words must needs be spoken
When the warm heart bleeds or burns
With its scorn of wrong, or pity
For the wronged, by turns.
"What The Voice Said" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Point thou with reverent gaze to heaven,
And kneel in earnest prayer,
That lessons thou hast humbly given,
May lead thy pupil there.
"The Teacher's Lesson" by Samuel Griswold Goodrich
He answered not, but grave and still
With earnest eyes her face perused,
And locked his lips with steady will,
As one that mused—­
"The Letter L" by Jean Ingelow
Oh! earnest hearts! toil on in hope,
'Till darkness shrinks from light;
To fill the earth with peace and joy,
Let youth and age unite.
"The Present Age" by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

In news:

It's time to reprint Dr E.L. A century ago, Dr Edward Livingston Trudeau, no doubt prodded by friends and associates, began thinking in earnest about writing his autobiography.
When Hank Truxillo moved his family to the San Fernando Valley a few years ago, they hoped to find an earnest, down-to-earth neighborhood.
"We scored a lot of points and we made a lot of mistakes," second-year head coach Earnest Hill said.
The Laurel County Sheriff's Office says 41-year-old Earnest Carr brought a sawed off shotgun into a store near London and carried it around on his shoulder.
The Emmys are over and the new TV season has begun in earnest.
There's something undeniably seductive about this much earnestness.
Earnest, well-meaning environmental messages are supposed to be ineffective relics of a bygone age, when bumper stickers still worked and treehuggers hadn't realized that self-interest speaks louder than Mother Earth ever could.
In a sports culture dominated by ironic humor, the Broncos quarterback is unusually earnest.
Earnest Sewn Makes Room for Ruffian (and Their Condoms).
Each month, Earnest Sewn relinquishes the back room of its meatpacking-district store to a guest artist or designer for a special installation.
Alicia Keys's decaplatinum Songs in A Minor might have been inspired by NYC's druggin' and groovin' '70s, but the earnest, slant-hatted Clive Davis discovery's vibe was pure, vitamin-popping Talent and Work Ethic.
Bar Dogwood and the Importance of Being Earnest .
IOWA PARK — James "Jimmy" Earnest Alsup, age 78, longtime resident of Iowa Park, Texas, passed away Sunday, November 18, 2012.
Deacon 'Buddy Earnest Walter Harrington, 79, of 1146 West Great Marsh Road, died Nov 18, 2012, at Southeastern Regional Medical Center.
Andrew Earnest and Jennifer Vest.

In science:

We are now ready to begin in earnest the construction of the Troot -valued Markov process, X , having the root growth with re-grafting dynamics.
Rayleigh processes, real trees, and root growth with re-grafting
In 1997 Earnest and Khosravani defined universal Hermitian forms and they sought 13 positive definite binary Hermitian forms over imaginary quadratic fields of class number one .
Simple proofs for universal binary Hermitian lattices
Earnest, Khosravani, Iwabuchi, Kim and the author found all universal binary Hermitian lattices over imaginary quadratic fields.
Simple proofs for universal binary Hermitian lattices
Deceleration due to the combined stellar winds starts in earnest when about half the initial energy has been transferred to the shocked matter, i.e. when it has swept up Γ−1 times its own rest mass.
Short Gamma Ray Bursts and their Afterglow Signatures in Dense Stellar Systems
Cosmic-ray detectors were installed at the Australian base of Mawson in 1955 (Parsons 1957) and at the US base of McMurdo during the International Geophysical Year of 1957 (Pomerantz, Agarwal & Pontis 1958), the year when Antarctic science began in earnest.
Astronomy in Antarctica