1. [syn: earnest money, arles]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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.
Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of
the Spirit in our hearts. --2 Cor. i.
And from his coffers
Received the golden earnest of our death. --Shak.
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.
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.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: money given by a buyer to a seller to bind a contract [syn:
earnest money, arles]