pork barrel


noun Informal.

a government appropriation, bill, or policy that supplies funds for local improvements designed to ingratiate legislators with their constituents.

Nearby words

  1. porina,
  2. porion,
  3. porirua,
  4. porism,
  5. pork,
  6. pork belly,
  7. pork pie,
  8. pork pig,
  9. pork scratchings,
  10. pork-barrel legislation

Origin of pork barrel

An Americanism dating back to 1905–10

Related formspork-bar·rel, adjectivepork-bar·rel·ing, adjective, noun

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

Examples from the Web for pork barrel


British Dictionary definitions for pork barrel

pork barrel

noun

slang, mainly US
  1. a bill or project requiring considerable government spending in a locality to the benefit of the legislator's constituents
  2. (as modifier)pork-barrel spending

Word Origin for pork barrel

C20: term originally applied to the Federal treasury considered as a source of lucrative grants

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

Idioms and Phrases with pork barrel

pork barrel

Government funding of something that benefits a particular district, whose legislator thereby wins favor with local voters. For example, Our senator knows the value of the pork barrel. This expression alludes to the fatness of pork, equated with political largesse since the mid-1800s. [c. 1900]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.