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pork barrel Syllabification: pork bar·rel
Pronunciation: /ˈpôrk ˌberəl/

Definition of pork barrel in English:


North American informal
The use of government funds for projects designed to please voters or legislators and win votes: political pork barrel for the benefit of their respective sponsors [as modifier]: wasteful, pork-barrel spending
More example sentences
  • At the same time, support for the package was assured through a series of corrupt deals that earmarked billions of dollars in funding for pork-barrel projects for legislators' home districts.
  • Congress pork-barrel spends and earmarks all of this money while we have enlisted families on food stamps.
  • Yet it will be hard to please congressmen while cutting their pork barrel, and as usual, no one seems very eager to cut middle-class entitlement programs.


Example sentences
  • Case work and pork-barrelling - the supposed mainstays of congressional politics - are not easily amenable to environmental policy (except for limited specific projects such as designated research labs).
  • Hence, his nationalist and scapegoating appeals on such issues as refugees, terrorism and Aboriginal programs, which often has been combined with blatant pork-barrelling and protectionism in favour of local businesses.
  • It is no surprise that young voters are remarkably cynical about politics and elections and don't respond to the well-worn path of pork-barrelling and self-interest that is used to appeal to other demographics.


Figuratively, from the use of such a barrel by farmers, to keep a reserve supply of meat.

Definition of pork barrel in:
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