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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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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
Smothering effectively kills weeds in areas earmarked for future planting.
All income from an endowment is earmarked for support of educational programs
  in the state for which it was created.
On the flip side, no revenue could possibly be earmarked for an agreeable cause.
Food stamps are considered highly effective government spending, but they're
  earmarked for food.
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