ear·​nest·​ly ˈər-nəst-lē How to pronounce earnestly (audio)
: in an earnest and serious manner : not lightly, casually, or flippantly
speaking earnestly
asking earnestly for forgiveness
providing the relief that they had earnestly hoped for
She spoke so earnestly, with such emotion in her voice, that Omakayas was always to remember that moment …Louise Erdrich
They sing contemporary R&B earnestly, like they borrowed it and want to return it in better condition than when they got it.Danyel Smith

Examples of earnestly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On the lawns, where the music roams free along with its listeners, every rule feels relaxed and thus more earnestly respected. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023 Eras asks us to set aside our cynicism and spend four hours earnestly enjoying ourselves. Hannah Summerhill, Vogue, 14 Aug. 2023 The affable, knowledgeable Monty Don is the ringmaster of most of the episodes from his garden in Herefordshire, England, surrounded by hornbeam hedges and earnestly trailed by his beloved dogs, Nell, Ned, and Patti. Stephen Orr, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Aug. 2023 Facebook seems to earnestly wrestle with these questions, but Kneese characterizes its efforts as a shrewd play for user retention. Gabriel Nicholas, Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2023 Half of the men are self-proclaimed Nice Guys earnestly looking for love, and the other half are secretly FBoys focused mainly on winning the $100,000 cash prize. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 27 July 2023 The song is earnestly performed by Ken (Ryan Gosling), who quite literally sings it at Barbie (Margot Robbie) for hours on end while strumming his guitar and sitting around a campfire. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 23 July 2023 In one corner, a group of teenage boys wearing glittery eye shadow clasped their hands in prayer and asked, earnestly, to be taken to church. Regine Cabato, Washington Post, 21 July 2023 The aural connection to their music is evident, too: evading the strict confines of genre or definition, the series serves to distill an earnestly raw amalgamation of influences (employed with an almost Postmodern sensibility) of the artists’ idiosyncratic languages. Keegan Brady, Rolling Stone, 27 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'earnestly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of earnestly was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near earnestly

Cite this Entry

“Earnestly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/earnestly. Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

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