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earnest

2 noun
     
earnest2
1

in earnest

if something starts happening in earnest, it begins properly - used when it was happening in a small or informal way before:
On Monday your training begins in earnest!
2

be in earnest

to really mean what you are saying, especially when expressing an intention or wish:
She wasn't sure whether he was in earnest or not.
be in dead/deadly/complete earnest
Although he smiled, Ashley knew he was in deadly earnest.

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