earmark

[ eer-mahrk ]
/ ˈɪərˌmɑrk /

noun

any identifying or distinguishing mark or characteristic: The mayor's statement had all the earmarks of dirty politics.
a mark of identification made on the ear of an animal to show ownership.
a provision in a piece of Congressional legislation that directs specified federal funds to specific projects, programs, organizations, or individuals: Lawmakers requested almost 40,000 earmarks worth more than $100 billion directed to their home districts and states.Compare pork barrel.

verb (used with object)

to set aside for a specific purpose, use, recipient, etc.: to earmark goods for export.
to mark with an earmark.

Nearby words

  1. early warning system,
  2. early wood,
  3. early, jubal anderson,
  4. early-type star,
  5. early-warning system,
  6. earmuff,
  7. earmuffs,
  8. earn,
  9. earn one's keep,
  10. earn one's stripes

Origin of earmark

First recorded in 1515–25; ear1 + mark1

Related formsun·ear·marked, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for earmark


British Dictionary definitions for earmark

earmark

/ (ˈɪəˌmɑːk) /

verb (tr)

to set aside or mark out for a specific purpose
to make an identification mark on the ear of (a domestic animal)

noun

a mark of identification on the ear of a domestic animal
any distinguishing mark or characteristic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for earmark
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper