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In earnest

Posted by Bob on November 10, 2007

In Reply to: In earnest posted by R. Berg on November 10, 2007

: : : What does it mean when someone says, "began in earnest?"

: :
: : It means that it began with seriousness or sincerity.

: We may need more context. When a person begins to speak in earnest, for example, the meaning is as above. "As the storm approached, the wind began to blow in earnest" means the wind became more forceful. If what began in earnest was a construction project, the meaning would be yet again a little different. ~rb

And then there's "in dead earnest," which is more serious still. Or, as my mother used to joke, "the ants were making love in dead Earnest...."