Definition of earmark in English:



  • 1Designate (funds or resources) for a particular purpose:

    ‘the cash had been earmarked for a big expansion of the programme’
    • ‘He recently assured the Capital City Development Forum that Rs.75 crores had been earmarked for the purpose.’
    • ‘Roughly $700,000 was earmarked for a trust fund for Terri, and $300,000 for Michael.’
    • ‘Of the additional funding almost £10m is earmarked for national pension contribution changes.’
    • ‘Officials insist there is no set funding target but the money is understood to be earmarked for capital expenditure on roads and building programmes.’
    • ‘Another $300-million was earmarked for those infected outside that time.’
    • ‘What is important to note is that the funding for this project came from EU funding, which is earmarked for this particular project.’
    • ‘The additional funding has been earmarked for specific types of developments.’
    • ‘The opposition lawmakers argued that since this is a special budget, every single expense should be earmarked for specific purposes.’
    • ‘The draft budget earmarks $50,000 for Todd Mall promotion.’
    • ‘Failure to do so will end with the same result as last year that saw a refusal to allow even a motion for a waiver scheme to be discussed because funds had not been earmarked for that purpose.’
    • ‘These must pay for themselves while public funds are earmarked for yet more road - building.’
    • ‘We have reserves but they should be earmarked for essential capital projects.’
    • ‘Some faculty members expressed the opinion that such funding had already been earmarked for specific purposes.’
    • ‘A further £750,000 will be earmarked for community-driven activities centring on education and cohesion.’
    • ‘Congress pork-barrel spends and earmarks all of this money while we have enlisted families on food stamps.’
    • ‘About $320 million of those funds would be earmarked for discretionary spending by the transportation authority.’
    • ‘Funding has already been earmarked for the Trafalgar Day Celebrations and has been provided for the recent Youth Festival.’
    • ‘The plan earmarks $1.3 billion for unmanned missions to the moon over the next five years, including a lunar orbiter to be launched by 2008.’
    • ‘Also, a portion of the proceeds will be earmarked for providing school fees for poor children for the coming academic year.’
    • ‘The other £100,000 of funding has been earmarked for encouraging tourism in and around Chesterfield.’
    set aside, lay aside, set apart, keep back, appropriate, reserve, keep
    designate, assign, label, tag, mark
    allocate to, allot to, devote to, pledge to, commit to, give over to
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    1. 1.1 Designate a particular outcome for (someone or something):
      ‘the yard has been earmarked for a complete overhaul’
      • ‘The land has also been earmarked for possible future public transport expansion, even though the report to the committee admits this is unlikely to be realised.’
      • ‘To assist with this, consideration might be given to earmarking Army units to specific regions, at least for the purposes of cultural and linguistic training.’
      • ‘Piotrovsky has also earmarked a further building in St Petersburg for a separate space to display artefacts from the archaeology department.’
      • ‘The land was earmarked by the council for employment use but the developer applied to build flats there and won the right to do so on appeal.’
      • ‘He is still earmarked by the club as one for the future.’
      • ‘After discussions with the sub-postmaster at Hindsford, they earmarked the post office for closure.’
      • ‘So far, nearly one million animals have been slaughtered in Britain or are earmarked to die.’
      • ‘He spoke to officials from Tesco, which has earmarked the land for development, about making it more secure.’
      • ‘The prestigious office building project, set among riverside promenades and a public plaza, is earmarked for Northern Foods.’
      • ‘Longer term he hopes to offer residential accommodation at the Lake of Menteith and has earmarked some buildings for development.’
      • ‘Health chiefs are developing a programme to deal with such an eventuality and have already earmarked some staff.’
      • ‘Dave Bassett has earmarked Craig Hignett as his first Leicester signing.’
      • ‘Now another activity is set to make its debut, with the common being earmarked for the town's first purpose-built skatepark.’
      • ‘Agreeing with MacArthur's reasoning, the war department earmarked some of its most modern weapons and planes for the Philippines.’
      • ‘Two years ago Eastleigh civic chiefs earmarked the site for major improvements in the borough's Local Plan.’
      • ‘The officers have recommended 20 per cent of the development must also be earmarked for affordable social housing.’
      • ‘Speed cameras on a one-mile stretch of busy road in Cottingley will finally be switched on more than a year after they were earmarked to go live.’
      • ‘And to pull the tourists in, land has been earmarked for a number of visitor attractions, one of which could be a reconstruction of a fort from Braveheart.’
      • ‘Let's say you have earmarked a player that you think can do all the things we've talked about but then you find that he might not actually want to come.’
      • ‘There are 300 schools in total that are earmarked to close.’
      save, put by, put aside, put away, lay aside, lay by, put to one side, keep, reserve, keep in reserve
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  • 2Mark the ear of (a domesticated animal) as a sign of ownership or identity.

    • ‘The legislation, which follows an EU directive, requires sheep farmers to earmark or tattoo every sheep on their land with their place of birth.’
    • ‘Condition scoring is also useful for earmarking cattle as they come close to finish as sometimes farmers who are looking at the same cattle each day can be unaware of the degree of finish achieved.’


  • 1A characteristic or identifying feature:

    ‘this car has all the earmarks of a classic’
    • ‘I did grow up in a neighborhood with many earmarks of suburbia.’
    • ‘In ‘Lazy Days’ he introduces the student to what it's like to run a melody line over a slow-walking bass line - one of the earmarks of jazz styling.’
    • ‘This movie has all the earmarks of a great premise that was dumbed down to appeal to an increasingly less adventuresome multiplex audience.’
    • ‘That was an earmark of the way I approached electronics.’
    • ‘He showed all the earmarks of a real hunter, a man who took nothing for granted.’
    • ‘The film has all the earmarks of a major commercial event.’
    • ‘It did nothing to note the earmarks of fraud that surrounded the story.’
    • ‘Even I am willing to admit such an action bears all the earmarks of anti-social behavior.’
    • ‘By August the troopers of the 14th were well aware that 1961 had already been a very eventful year and had all the earmarks of becoming even more eventful.’
    • ‘This has all the earmarks of a franchise that has run its course.’
    • ‘In short, the study has all the earmarks of a cluster-sample study that failed.’
    • ‘But while it may have had some of the earmarks of a religious revival, this movement was rooted firmly in the material world.’
    • ‘This confrontation had all the earmarks of a disaster.’
    • ‘The year 2004 has all the earmarks of a milestone year for the entrepreneurial space industry.’
    • ‘Having said that, I have to go on to say that, for me, this story in the Times has all the earmarks of a load of old cobblers.’
    • ‘The situation has all the earmarks of a well-made movie thriller!’
    • ‘These occurrences have the earmarks of hoaxing.’
    • ‘I am always ready to believe the worst when warranted, but this has all the earmarks of a wild rumor.’
    • ‘This has the earmarks of the sort of backroom politicking that has marked some of the darkest chapters in American history.’
    • ‘As publishers and record companies looked for the earmarks of potential long-term hits, several releases in late 1941 exploited early returns from the front.’
    characteristic, attribute, feature, quality, essential quality, property, mark, trademark, hallmark
    mannerism, way, tendency
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  • 2US A congressional directive that funds should be spent on a specific project.

    • ‘Hasn't his administration endorsed almost half of the nearly 12,000 earmarks that have been approved in 2008?’
    • ‘Also, remember John McCain's famous line about earmarks from the campaign trail.’
    • ‘In all, eager members in both houses enacted 11,144 earmarks, worth $15 billion.’
    • ‘I championed earmark reform, also, to help Congress stop wasting money on those things that do not serve the public interest.’
    • ‘Projects supported by earmarks this year are varied.’
    • ‘It is a fact that as governor she lobbies for earmarks.’
    • ‘Watchdog groups say it's hard to determine if the Senate's passage of this bailout was bought with earmarks.’
    • ‘Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway?’
    • ‘The Senate also soundly defeated a bill to ban earmarks for a year.’
    • ‘The Obama camp is pressing the Clinton camp to release its earmark requests as well.’
    • ‘Earmark portions of government research grants to cover IRB overhead costs.’
    • ‘And it's really not an accurate account of all earmarks.’
    • ‘He has been able to turn the promise of earmarks for other Democrats into votes on close issues.’
    • ‘Senator, on this issue of earmarks that you talk about frequently, you reiterated yesterday that you have never taken an earmark.’
    • ‘Under Republican control, we have gone, I believe, in 1994 from about 2,000 earmarks per year to over 10,000.’
    • ‘A spokesman for McConnell says the requests were made last year, and notes he voted for an amendment to strike all earmarks, which failed.’
    • ‘Last year, he did ask for some $311 million in earmarks.’
    • ‘Democrats and Republicans are being held in the spotlight for their earmarks.’
    • ‘For example, some members of Congress post some earmark requests online.’
    • ‘And in those speeches, she insists she's fought hard against pork barrel projects, basically telling America she'll stand up to government earmarks.’
  • 3A mark on the ear of a domesticated animal indicating ownership or identity.