1

earmark

noun ear·mark \ ˈir-ˌmärk \
Updated on: 23 Nov 2017

Definition of earmark

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

Recent Examples of earmark from the Web

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.

First Known Use of earmark

15th century


2

earmark

verb

Definition of earmark

transitive verb
1 a : 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

Examples of earmark in a Sentence

  1. The project uses funds that had been earmarked for education.

  2. the earnings from my second job have been earmarked for a down payment on a car

Recent Examples of earmark from the Web

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.

First Known Use of earmark

1591

earmark Synonyms


Financial Definition of EARMARK

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]



EARMARK Defined for English Language Learners

earmark

noun

Definition of earmark for English Language Learners

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


earmark

verb

Definition of earmark for English Language Learners

  • : 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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