IPA: ˈɪrmɑrk


  • A mark or deformation of the ear of an animal, intended to indicate ownership.
  • (US, politics) The designation of specific projects in appropriations of funding for general programs.
  • A mark for identification; a distinguishing mark.


  • (transitive) To mark (sheep or other animals) by slitting the ear.
  • (transitive, by extension) To specify or set aside for a particular purpose, to allocate.
  • (transitive, finance, UK) To designate part of a pension to be payable to the holder's former spouse or partner at its time of payment.

Examples of "earmark" in Sentences

  • The teacher earmarked the students.
  • That the earmark was hidden in the bill
  • It had all of the earmarks of vandalism.
  • It has the earmarks of family history research.
  • Early in his career, he was earmarked as a plodder.
  • Using this power is one of the earmarks of wizardry.
  • Glad Shor wrote the earmark is for “Asian carp fish.”
  • In the mid 1990s the school was earmarked for closure.
  • The fact that Congress removed the earmark was removed.
  • Congress did not, however, reinstate the earmark for the bridge.
  • Also, the withdrawal of the earmark was covered in several sources.
  • "If they don't like the term earmark, they can call it a member initiative.
  • CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Group: Slight decline in earmark projects « - Blogs from CNN. com
  • The term earmark originated in ancient England when farmers tagged -- or marked the ears -- of their livestock mixed among the village herd.
  • An earmark is a line-item that is inserted into a bill to direct funds to a specific project or recipient without any public hearing or review.
  • "There's been a lot of negative press around the term earmark," he explained, before pointing out some valuable projects that were funded by earmarks, such as the Iraq Study Group.
  • Then if the author votes against the bill, he obviously does not want his earmark, therefore if the bill passes, the earmark is struck and whatever monies are associated with that earmark reverts back to the discretionary budget of whatever government department was in charge of releasing those funds.

Related Links

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