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

There are roughly 400 Sears and Kmart stores earmarked for the sale process, and an auction has been proposed for January. Lillian Rizzo, WSJ, "Creditors Question Viability of Sears Stores," 12 Nov. 2018 According to the group, earmarks in 2018 totaled $14.7 billion, an increase of 116.2 percent from $6.8 billion in 2017. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Watchdog exposes $14.7B of pork-barrel spending, including 'brown tree snake eradication' project," 18 July 2018 Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy and Gorsuch—argued that the travel ban was not earmarked exclusively for Muslims. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "Locking up Cubs legend Yosh Kawano also got Supreme Court OK," 27 June 2018 The use of any of these funds requires congressional authorization and must be earmarked in the budget, raising questions about its effectiveness and continuity beyond a change in government. Bloomberg.com, "Brazil Faces Default Risk After Missing Venezuela Loan Alert," 2 May 2018 The splurge is on top of $20 million that the RGA earmarked in February for key gubernatorial races in in Florida, Ohio, Nevada and Arizona. Neil Vigdor, courant.com, "National Republicans Pour $1.7M For TV Ads Into Governor's Race," 10 Apr. 2018 DeVos said that one way to improve the situation was by setting up education savings accounts where the parents would receive government funds earmarked for them in the public schools system. Washington Post, "DeVos backs expanding school choice for military children," 6 Mar. 2018 His instincts, along with a natural ability to earmark talent and set them in motion to be successful, have allowed for continued success in wrestling for the past three decades. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "Konnan on Working With Aro Lucha, Max Moon and His Frustration with Eric Bischoff and WCW," 16 Feb. 2018 Dasuki is facing trial for allegedly stealing $2 billion of government funds earmarked for arms to be used in fighting the militant group Boko Haram. Conor Gaffey, Newsweek, "Nigerian Ex-Minister Warns Buhari Over Treatment of Dasuki, Kanu, Zakzaky," 4 Jan. 2016

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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More from Merriam-Webster on earmark

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with earmark

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for earmark

Spanish Central: Translation of earmark

Nglish: Translation of earmark for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about earmark

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