DEFINITION of 'Earmarking'

Funds (or capital) that are set aside to pay for a specific project or event. In some cases, the term is also synonymous with the word "flagged", or "marked", especially when used in certain congressional settings.

BREAKING DOWN 'Earmarking'

Major financial institutions, as well as state or federal governments, will often earmark funds received from bond issuances to pay for certain projects. For example, a state may issue municipal bonds, and then earmark the funds received from the bonds' sales to pay for a project such as a new road or bridge.

When used in a congressional setting, the term is often used to refer to specific legislation. For example, a bill might be earmarked for a vote. It may also be earmarked for a presidential veto.

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