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A sum of money paid by a buyer at the time of entering a contract to indicate the intention and ability of the buyer to carry out the contract. Normally such earnest money is applied against the purchase price. Often the contract provides for Forfeiture of this sum if the buyer defaults. A deposit of part payment of purchase price on sale to be consummated in future.
earnest moneynoun collateral, collateral security, deposit, down payment, earnest, earnest payment, earnest pledge, guarantee, installment, pledge, security, stake
See also: handsel