from The Century Dictionary.
- noun Earnest-money paid to bind a bargain or contract; a pledge. Formerly also spelled
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (Law) Money or other valuable thing given to evidence a contract; a pledge or earnest.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The word is supposed to be derived from the Hebrew E+R+oB+W+N%; and the Latins make use of it also, arrhabon and arrha.
The Latins have made words for it, from that expressed here in the Greek, “arrha” and “arrabo.”
First the wedding ring itself, in accordance with the old Roman custom, seems to have been originally a pledge or arrha given at the sponsalia by the bridegroom as the earnest of the future fulfilment of his share in the contract.
She passed into the possession of her husband by acquisition, and when he fixed the wedding day he gave her parents coins of small money as _arrha_, and the day after the wedding she received from him a present, the _morgengabe_.
Atque hoc solido obtinendae victoriae solatio, et infallibili aeternae gloriae arrha, si in hoc mundo electi
(V, § 7) Great care was taken that wages greater than the law allowed should not be evaded by the payment of _arrha_ or payment in produce.
But, perhaps, he spoke only of a cautionary _arrha_ or earnest.
_] 309 [That is, an earnest (_arrha_ Lat.). — _Ed.