Earnest money
Earnest Ear"nest, n. [Prob. corrupted fr. F. arrhes, L. arra, arrha, arrhabo, Gr. 'arrabw`n, of Semitic origin, cf. Heb. [=e]r[=a]v[=o]n; 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. [1913 Webster]

And from his coffers Received the golden earnest of our death. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

{Earnest money} (Law), money paid as earnest, to bind a bargain or to ratify and prove a sale.

Syn: {Earnest}, {Pledge}.

Usage: 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]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • earnest money — earnest mon·ey n: money used as earnest Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. earnest money …   Law dictionary

  • earnest money — money given to a seller by a buyer to demonstrate the buyer s good faith. If the deal falls through, the deposit is usually forfeited. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * earnest money earnest money ➔ money * * * earnest money UK US noun [U] ►… …   Financial and business terms

  • Earnest Money — A deposit made to a seller showing the buyer s good faith in a transaction. Often used in real estate transactions, earnest money allows the buyer additional time when seeking financing. Earnest money is typically held jointly by the seller and… …   Investment dictionary

  • earnest money — 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… …   Black's law dictionary

  • earnest money — 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… …   Black's law dictionary

  • earnest money — money paid as security …   English contemporary dictionary

  • earnest money — noun money given by a buyer to a seller to bind a contract • Syn: ↑arles • Hypernyms: ↑earnest …   Useful english dictionary

  • earnest-money — n. Earnest, pay in advance (to bind a bargain), handsel …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • earnest money — noun Money paid as a deposit to show intent to buy or to reserve an item to be purchased; especially, money accompanying an offer to buy real estate …   Wiktionary

  • earnest money — Law. money given by a buyer to a seller to bind a contract. [1550 60] * * * …   Universalium

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