Earnest Payment

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

A partial payment (deposit) demonstrating commitment in a contractual relationship, and commonly made in real estate transactions. The remainder of the payment is due on a particular date or after a particular event has occurred. The seller keeps the earnest money if the buyer fails to make timely payment in full (or if there is a similar breach of the agreement).

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.