Definition of earmark in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɪəmɑːk/


[with object]
1Designate (funds or resources) for a particular purpose: the cash had been earmarked for a big expansion of the programme
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, 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
rare hypothecate
1.1Designate a particular outcome for (someone or something): the yard has been earmarked for a complete overhaul
More example sentences
  • Longer term he hopes to offer residential accommodation at the Lake of Menteith and has earmarked some buildings for development.
  • He is still earmarked by the club as one for the future.
  • 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.
2Mark the ear of (a domesticated 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.
characteristic, attribute, feature, quality, essential quality, property, mark, trademark, hallmark;
mannerism, way, tendency
literary lineament
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

Line breaks: ear|mark

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