Definition of earmark in English:



  • 1Designate (something, typically funds or resources) for a particular purpose.

    ‘the new money will be earmarked for cancer research’
    • ‘About $320 million of those funds would be earmarked for discretionary spending by the transportation authority.’
    • ‘What is important to note is that the funding for this project came from EU funding, which is earmarked for this particular project.’
    • ‘Another $300-million was earmarked for those infected outside that time.’
    • ‘We have reserves but they should be earmarked for essential capital projects.’
    • ‘Roughly $700,000 was earmarked for a trust fund for Terri, and $300,000 for Michael.’
    • ‘He recently assured the Capital City Development Forum that Rs.75 crores had been earmarked for the purpose.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The opposition lawmakers argued that since this is a special budget, every single expense should be earmarked for specific purposes.’
    • ‘Officials insist there is no set funding target but the money is understood to be earmarked for capital expenditure on roads and building programmes.’
    • ‘Some faculty members expressed the opinion that such funding had already been earmarked for specific purposes.’
    • ‘The other £100,000 of funding has been earmarked for encouraging tourism in and around Chesterfield.’
    • ‘Of the additional funding almost £10m is earmarked for national pension contribution changes.’
    • ‘The additional funding has been earmarked for specific types of developments.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Funding has already been earmarked for the Trafalgar Day Celebrations and has been provided for the recent Youth Festival.’
    • ‘The draft budget earmarks $50,000 for Todd Mall promotion.’
    • ‘Congress pork-barrel spends and earmarks all of this money while we have enlisted families on food stamps.’
    • ‘A further £750,000 will be earmarked for community-driven activities centring on education and cohesion.’
    • ‘These must pay for themselves while public funds are earmarked for yet more road - building.’
    • ‘Also, a portion of the proceeds will be earmarked for providing school fees for poor children for the coming academic year.’
    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
    View synonyms
  • 2Mark the ear of (an animal) as a sign of ownership or identity.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The legislation, which follows an EU directive, requires sheep farmers to earmark or tattoo every sheep on their land with their place of birth.’


  • 1A characteristic or identifying feature.

    ‘this car has all the earmarks of a classic’
    • ‘But while it may have had some of the earmarks of a religious revival, this movement was rooted firmly in the material world.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That was an earmark of the way I approached electronics.’
    • ‘In short, the study has all the earmarks of a cluster-sample study that failed.’
    • ‘The situation has all the earmarks of a well-made movie thriller!’
    • ‘This movie has all the earmarks of a great premise that was dumbed down to appeal to an increasingly less adventuresome multiplex audience.’
    • ‘This confrontation had all the earmarks of a disaster.’
    • ‘The film has all the earmarks of a major commercial event.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These occurrences have the earmarks of hoaxing.’
    • ‘He showed all the earmarks of a real hunter, a man who took nothing for granted.’
    • ‘The year 2004 has all the earmarks of a milestone year for the entrepreneurial space industry.’
    • ‘I did grow up in a neighborhood with many earmarks of suburbia.’
    • ‘This has the earmarks of the sort of backroom politicking that has marked some of the darkest chapters in American history.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It did nothing to note the earmarks of fraud that surrounded the story.’
    • ‘I am always ready to believe the worst when warranted, but this has all the earmarks of a wild rumor.’
    • ‘This has all the earmarks of a franchise that has run its course.’
    characteristic, attribute, feature, quality, essential quality, property, mark, trademark, hallmark
    mannerism, way, tendency
    View synonyms
  • 2US A congressional directive that funds should be spent on a specific project.

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