[ eer-mahrk ]
See synonyms for: earmarkearmarkedearmarking on Thesaurus.com

  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.

  1. 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)
  1. to set aside for a specific purpose, use, recipient, etc.: to earmark goods for export.

  2. to mark with an earmark.

Origin of earmark

First recorded in 1515–25; ear1 + mark1

Other words from earmark

  • un·ear·marked, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use earmark in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for earmark


/ (ˈɪəˌmɑːk) /

  1. to set aside or mark out for a specific purpose

  2. to make an identification mark on the ear of (a domestic animal)

  1. a mark of identification on the ear of a domestic animal

  2. 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