earnest

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earnest

adjective assiduous, bent upon, concentrating, conscientious, determined, devoted, diligent, eager, enixus, enthusiastic, fervent, firm, grave, gravis, impassioned, intent, intentus, purposeful, resolute, serious, set upon, sincere, sober, solemn, staid, strong-willed, thoughtful, zealous
See also: bail, binder, close, devoted, eager, fervent, honest, industrious, intense, loyal, painstaking, pertinacious, pledge, resolute, security, serious, solemn, true, urgent, vehement, willing, zealous

earnest

in Anglo-American law a part-payment made to seal a bargain. At times the implication has been of a token sum that is forfeitable. The Roman law tradition has a very developed equivalent: ARRA. See also DEPOSIT.

EARNEST, contracts. The payment of a part of the price of goods sold, or the delivery of part of such goods, for the purpose of binding the contract.
     2. The effect of earnest is to bind the goods sold, and upon their being paid for without default, the buyer is entitled to them. But notwithstanding the earnest, the money must be paid upon taking away the goods, because no other time for payment is appointed; earnest only binds the bargain, and gives the buyer a right to demand, but a demand without payment of the money is void; after earnest given the vendor cannot sell the goods to another, without a default in the vendee, and therefore if the latter does not come and pay, and take the goods, the vendor ought to go and request him, and then if he does not come, pay for the goods and take them away in convenient time, the agreement is dissolved, and he is at liberty to sell them to any other person. 1 Salk. 113: 2 Bl. Com. 447; 2 Kent, Com. 389; Ayl. Pand. 450; 3 Campb. R. 426.

References in classic literature ?
Shoreham pays attentions that are pointed, and is not in earnest, he is a very different person from what I took him to be.
I am in earnest in my love for you as I am in earnest for my own life, which can only be perfected by your aid and influence.
As I now recall the scene of my first year, I do not believe that one often has the opportunity of coming into contact with three or four hundred men and women who were so tremendously in earnest as these men and women were.
Whenever I fall into trouble, or fall in love, I shall always tell you, if you'll let me - even when I come to fall in love in earnest.
For several days ensuing, her name was unmentioned by either Usher or myself: and during this period I was busied in earnest endeavours to alleviate the melancholy of my friend.
For all his waywardness, he took great credit to himself as being determined to be in earnest "this time.