Definition of ring fence in English:

ring fence


  • 1A fence completely enclosing a farm or piece of land.

    1. 1.1An effective or comprehensive barrier.
      ‘he did not say when the merger would be completed or when the ring fence would be abolished’
      • ‘The consequence is that the ring fence around the single market is only as strong as its weakest link, and that there is no second chance to impose limits on goods coming from a third country.’


  • 1Enclose (a piece of land) with a ring fence.

    • ‘A decision was taken to ring fence the 28 beds in the orthopaedic ward so only patients having elective hip and knee surgery were admitted to the ward.’
    • ‘I have no problem with the County Council taking over the harbour if the Minister ring-fences the harbour land so that it is only used for the development of the harbour and is not sold off to pay a pension fund or benchmarking pay increases.’
    • ‘Important recommendations on which no action has been taken include the abolition of stamp duty on motor insurance premiums, or at least ring-fencing such revenue as well as a switch from insuring drivers to vehicles.’
  • 2British Guarantee that (funds allocated for a particular purpose) will not be spent on anything else.

    ‘the government failed to ring-fence the money provided to schools’
    • ‘It said that money raised annually from carbon taxation, which could amounting to €1 billion, should be ring-fenced for reinvestment in the industry, rather than being diverted into the central exchequer.’
    • ‘It has suggested ring-fencing a certain proportion, such as 26 per cent, of national income tax to fund local government.’
    • ‘Investments like unit trusts are ring-fenced and are therefore not affected by these matters.’
    • ‘The money will not be ring-fenced for public transport, but go straight into Dublin Corporation's central budget.’
    • ‘Mr Costello also called on the minister to bring in an amendment ring-fencing the money accruing from the sale of criminal assets.’
    • ‘A Department of Finance spokeswoman said there were no plans to ring-fence money from the proceeds of crime.’
    • ‘He failed to ring fence any of his assets from the paws of the lender.’
    • ‘Whilst ring-fenced, the funds have not been debited from the card.’
    • ‘We need reassurance about this settlement in the light of the £1.5 billion originally ring-fenced by the company to cover it.’
    • ‘It may ring-fence a certain amount of money, possessions or property which one or other party brings to the relationship and expects to be left untouched by the other if the marriage fails.’
    • ‘Furthermore, research funds cannot be effectively ring-fenced in view of the acute financial problems being experienced by many institutions.’
    • ‘Either the authority needs to give a higher priority to lighting and divert money from other areas of road improvements, or the Government must provide more cash and ring-fence it to be used solely for that purpose.’
    • ‘This weekend, O'Keeffe said he was concerned that some of the public money ostensibly ring-fenced for the events centre may have been used to finish the previous project.’
    • ‘Under the new legislation, funding is to be allocated on a multi-annual basis, and will be ring-fenced for disabilities.’
    • ‘In the case of individuals whose profits from the sale of land are liable to income tax, the taxable profits from the sale of any residential land will be ring-fenced and taxed at a special rate of 20%.’
    • ‘Many people say they would support higher fuel tax if the money were ring-fenced for public transport.’
    • ‘‘We will ring-fence the new investment they bring so as to ensure that they bring benefits to local financial and economic activities,’ he said.’
    • ‘Once you have identified the areas in which you can make savings, ring fence that money as soon as your pay cheque arrives.’
    • ‘Of this, €13m was ring-fenced for land compensation agreements and €15m towards construction costs.’
    • ‘Supporters have been calling on the club's major sponsors to help ring-fence shares to stave off further takeover threats.’


ring fence