earmark

noun
ear·​mark | \ˈir-ˌmärk \

Definition of earmark 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a mark of identification on the ear of an animal

2 : a distinguishing mark all the earmarks of poverty

3 : a provision in Congressional legislation that allocates a specified amount of money for a specific project, program, or organization

earmark

verb
earmarked; earmarking; earmarks

Definition of earmark (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to mark (livestock) with an earmark

b : to mark in a distinguishing manner

2 : to designate (something, such as funds) for a specific use or owner money earmarked for education

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Examples of earmark in a Sentence

Verb

The project uses funds that had been earmarked for education. the earnings from my second job have been earmarked for a down payment on a car

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The House Rules Committee will convene hearings this month on earmarks, House aides said. Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "Trump cools to idea of taking on welfare programs, seeing little chance of success in Congress," 5 Jan. 2018 At the very least, the earmark could provide Rail Link supporters with more political leverage in their quest. Jon Chesto, BostonGlobe.com, "North South Rail Link scores a Beacon Hill win," 7 June 2018 But that's not happening in 2018 and 2019 has all the earmarks of a full-on rebuild season. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Astros hold on against Rangers but Shin-Soo Choo stretches on-base streak to 43 games," 3 July 2018 But Allen says those grants have dried up in the past five years as Johnson County redirected those earmarks to building a handful of moderate-income home-ownership properties. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "JoCo agency gave low-income residents a lifeline. Now it's shutting down," 1 July 2018 The on-again, off-again summit meeting scheduling had all the earmarks of a television cliffhanger from a president who made a name for himself hosting a reality show on NBC for 14 years, only this time there were deadly serious consequences. Peter Baker, New York Times, "Trump Announces Summit Meeting With Kim Jong-un Is Back on," 1 June 2018 The Legislature sent a bonding bill on Thursday to Baker that includes a long wish list of earmarks. BostonGlobe.com, "Life sciences bill sent to the governor," 8 June 2018 Nancy Oganovich, congressional reporter for Bloomberg Government, discusses the potential return of earmarks, which fund lawmakers’ local spending projects and were killed by then-House speaker John Boehner. Bloomberg.com, "Earmarks Make a Comeback in Trump’s Washington (Audio)," 10 Jan. 2018 Intensive anti-gang programs in the Virginia suburbs were cut 85 percent, a casualty of Congress’s elimination of earmarks. Dara Lind, Vox, "MS-13, explained," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Much of it is earmarked for services provided by Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid providing healthcare for its poorest citizens. John Myers, latimes.com, "California lawmakers meet deadline, sending nearly $200-billion state budget blueprint to Gov. Jerry Brown," 15 June 2018 But most of that cash is earmarked for other investors, mainly hedge funds, because the Swiss bank doesn’t own most of the claims. Patrick Fitzgerald, WSJ, "Lehman Settles $1.2 Billion Derivatives Fight With Credit Suisse," 13 June 2018 The remaining $133,000 is earmarked for renovation costs. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "When moving day means moving the house," 31 May 2018 The money is earmarked for various social programs, all of which have the potential to do good, but the NFL’s motivation was solely to get the players off their knees and get theirs fists out of the air. Bob Ford, Philly.com, "Jeffrey Lurie stays ambiguous about Eagles protests during national anthem | Bob Ford," 25 May 2018 The problem, officials say, is that much of that money is earmarked for specific purposes, such as hiring mental health counselors and extra school police officers in wake of the shooting. Scott Travis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Broward school district may seek tax hike to pay for teacher raises," 17 Apr. 2018 My book is earmarked, underlined, co-signed and sanctified. Angela Helm, The Root, "Brittney Cooper Talks Beyoncé, White Feminists and Black Women’s Oh-So-Eloquent Rage," 12 Apr. 2018 The exact amount of Koch donations to campuses across the country, which frequently are earmarked for programs fostering capitalism and free markets, is unknown. New York Times, "What Charles Koch and Other Donors to George Mason University Got for Their Money," 5 May 2018 In March, Congress and President Donald Trump enacted a $1.3 trillion federal spending measure that earmarks $5.5 billion for Virginia class submarines, exceeding Trump’s request by $225 million. Stephen Singer, courant.com, "Malloy Promises Nearly $85M For Electric Boat Job Creation," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'earmark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of earmark

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for earmark

The first known use of earmark was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for earmark

earmark

verb

Financial Definition of earmark

What It Is

Earmarking refers to the act of setting aside funds for special purposes or specific projects. Companies and governments earmark funds frequently.

How It Works

For example, let's assume Company XYZ issues $100 million of bonds and that $20 million of it is earmarked for the construction of a new factory. This means that Company XYZ intends to set aside $20 million of the proceeds (perhaps even in a separate bank account) for the factory capital expenditures.

In a bankruptcy situation, the "earmarking doctrine" allows borrowers -- just before filing for bankruptcy -- to make payments to creditors with funds given to the borrower by another creditor. These funds are earmarked in that they are dedicated to paying off a particular creditor and thus aren't technically part of the borrower's property. The earmarking doctrine requires these types of transfers to have a written agreement from all three parties, and the borrower cannot have control over the funds.

Why It Matters

In the corporate world, earmarking is essentially a way of organizing and allocating money.

In government, however, earmarking also comes with a good deal of controversy because the earmark language is often embedded in unrelated legislation and approved or rejected for reasons other than the merits (or lack thereof) of the earmarks.

[InvestingAnswers Feature: The Most Absurd Pork Barrel Spending Projects of 2010]

Source: Investing Answers

earmark

noun

English Language Learners Definition of earmark

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a mark or quality that shows what something is or what it could be

earmark

verb

English Language Learners Definition of earmark (Entry 2 of 2)

: to say that something will be used or treated in a specified way

: to put (money) aside for a special purpose

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Comments on earmark

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