any identifying or distinguishing mark or characteristic: The mayor's statement had all the earmarks of dirty politics.
a mark of identification made on the ear of an animal to show ownership.
a provision in a piece of Congressional legislation that directs specified federal funds to specific projects, programs, organizations, or individuals: Lawmakers requested almost 40,000 earmarks worth more than $100 billion directed to their home districts and states. Compare pork barrel.
verb (used with object)
to set aside for a specific purpose, use, recipient, etc.: to earmark goods for export.
to mark with an earmark.

1515–25; ear1 + mark1

unearmarked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
earmark (ˈɪəˌmɑːk)
1.  to set aside or mark out for a specific purpose
2.  to make an identification mark on the ear of (a domestic animal)
3.  a mark of identification on the ear of a domestic animal
4.  any distinguishing mark or characteristic

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1520s, from ear (1) + mark (1). Originally a cut or mark in the ear of sheep and cattle, serving as a sign of ownership; first recorded 1570s in figurative sense. Related: Earmarked.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
By the way you are seeing what non earmark action is all about--now progress is focused with out the goodie distractions.
Potential buyers can earmark a building, street or neighborhood they're interested in, and post offers online.
They often have a real estate interest in earmark projects.
Each earmark must be open to scrutiny at public hearings, where members will have to justify their expense to the taxpayer.
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