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earmark

[eer-mahrk]
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noun
  1. any identifying or distinguishing mark or characteristic: The mayor's statement had all the earmarks of dirty politics.
  2. a mark of identification made on the ear of an animal to show ownership.
  3. 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.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to set aside for a specific purpose, use, recipient, etc.: to earmark goods for export.
  2. to mark with an earmark.
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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. 2018

Related Words for earmarked

allocate, designate, slot, name, tag, label, maintain, tab

Examples from the Web for earmarked

Contemporary Examples of earmarked

Historical Examples of earmarked


British Dictionary definitions for earmarked

earmark

verb (tr)
  1. to set aside or mark out for a specific purpose
  2. to make an identification mark on the ear of (a domestic animal)
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noun
  1. a mark of identification on the ear of a domestic animal
  2. any distinguishing mark or characteristic
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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 earmarked

earmark

v.

1590s, "to identify by an earmark," from earmark (n.). Meaning "to set aside money for a special purpose" is attested by 1868. Related: Earmarked; earmarking.

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earmark

n.

late 15c., from ear (n.1) + mark (n.1). Originally a cut or mark in the ear of sheep and cattle, serving as a sign of ownership (also a punishment of certain criminals); first recorded 1570s in figurative sense "stamp of ownership."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper