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Definition politics:  congressional instructions (often never voted upon) specifying how funds should be spent

or (more generally):  give or assign a resource to a particular person or cause
  • He earmarked a million dollars for the museum.
  • About a quarter of one's salary had to be earmarked for voluntary subscriptions, which were so numerous that it was difficult to keep track of them.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • earmarked = saved or used
  • He reportedly earned $160,000 for his appearance in the sixty-second spot, money earmarked for his nonprofit foundation.
    Eric Schlosser  --  Fast Food Nation
  • Perhaps I wanted to auction them off, with the proceeds earmarked for specific organizations or universities?
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Longest Ride
  • And if I end up stuck in the storm and doomed to die, I'm totally eating the other earmarked meals.
    Andy Weir  --  The Martian
  • Helen has earmarked the broth and bouillon for Dan until he's better; and the candy for the children.
    Pat Frank  --  Alas, Babylon
  • She might have to take them on a train, and she couldn't ride on a train with her clothing torn, it was one of the earmarks of the fugitive.
    Ann Petry  --  Harriet Tubman
  • In these respects, it is perfectly familiar to Hiro: it bears the earmarks of a high-tech product that is still under development.
    Neal Stephenson  --  Snow Crash
  • He had never before spent a needless penny, since all money had been earmarked for his bookstore.
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden
  • That would carry over onto the field throughout this season, which at the moment was beginning to have all the earmarks of being very special.
    Tim Tebow  --  Through My Eyes
  • The book had been earmarked to the Gospel of Thomas.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Change of Heart
  • We've taken two articles earmarked for the issue after this one and we're going to fill the gaps with freelance material.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl Who Played with Fire
  • Part was earmarked for the bank to finance the next big phase of her long-term program.
    Russell Baker  --  Growing Up
  • They worked two days in the holdingpens branding and earmarking and castrating and dehorning and inoculating.
    Cormac McCarthy  --  All the Pretty Horses
  • Only a thin trickle of food was coming into King's Landing, most of it earmarked for castle and garrison.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Clash of Kings
  • This was one of the significant earmarks of his life.
    Hermann Hesse  --  Steppenwolf
  • He'll be quoting Scripture; he probably has some passages already earmarked.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • Why, he had all the earmarks of a typewriter copyist, if you leave out the disposition to contribute uninvited emendations of your grammar and punctuation.
    Mark Twain  --  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
  • In a couple of cases he had, in effect, paid their tuition, by giving money to a school fund earmarked for scholarships for those who couldn't afford tuition.
    Michael Lewis  --  The Blind Side
  • To make sure these properties were constant throughout the park, Burnham had his chief engineer, Abraham Gottlieb, test locations earmarked for other buildings.
    Erik Larson  --  The Devil in the White City

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