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Definition of earmark
1a characteristic or identifying feature:this car has all the earmarks of a classic 2a congressional directive that funds should be spent on a specific project. 3a mark on the ear of a domesticated animal indicating ownership or identity.
verb [with object]
1designate (something, typically funds or resources) for a particular purpose:the new money will be earmarked for cancer research 2mark the ear of (an animal) as a sign of ownership or identity.