Definition of earmark in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈirˌmärk/


[with object]
1Designate (something, typically funds or resources) for a particular purpose: the new money will be earmarked for cancer research
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Roughly $700,000 was earmarked for a trust fund for Terri, and $300,000 for Michael.
  • Some faculty members expressed the opinion that such funding had already been earmarked for specific purposes.
set aside, keep (back), reserve;
designate, assign, mark;
allocate, allot, devote, pledge, give over
2Mark the ear of (an animal) as a sign of ownership or identity.
Example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • I did grow up in a neighborhood with many earmarks of suburbia.
  • It did nothing to note the earmarks of fraud that surrounded the story.
  • In short, the study has all the earmarks of a cluster-sample study that failed.
characteristics, attribute, feature, hallmark, quality
2US A congressional directive that funds should be spent on a specific project.
Example sentences
  • For example, some members of Congress post some earmark requests online.
  • Also, remember John McCain's famous line about earmarks from the campaign trail.
  • Last year, he did ask for some $311 million in earmarks.
3A mark on the ear of a domesticated animal indicating ownership or identity.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ear·mark

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