Earnest

Ear"nest

, n. [Prob. corrupted fr. F. arrhes, L. arra, arrha, arrhabo, Gr. 'arrabw`n, of Semitic origin, cf. Heb. rvn; or perh. fr. W. ernes, akin to Gael. earlas, perh. fr. L. arra. Cf. Arles, Earles penny.] 1. Something given, or a part paid beforehand, as a pledge; pledge; handsel; a token of what is to come.
[1913 Webster]

Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
2 Cor. i. 22.
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And from his coffers
Received the golden earnest of our death.
Shak.
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2. (Law) Something of value given by the buyer to the seller, by way of token or pledge, to bind the bargain and prove the sale. Kent. Ayliffe. Benjamin.
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Earnest money (Law), money paid as earnest, to bind a bargain or to ratify and prove a sale.

Syn. -- Earnest, Pledge. These words are here compared as used in their figurative sense. Earnest is not so strong as pledge. An earnest, like first fruits, gives assurance, or at least a high probability, that more is coming of the same kind; a pledge, like money deposited, affords security and ground of reliance for the future. Washington gave earnest of his talent as commander by saving his troops after Braddock's defeat; his fortitude and that of his soldiers during the winter at Valley Forge might rightly be considered a pledge of their ultimate triumph.
[1913 Webster]

 

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Wed 12th December 2018