Pronunciation: (ēr'märk"),[key] —n. 1. any identifying or distinguishing mark or characteristic: The mayor's statement had all the earmarks of dirty politics. 2. a mark of identification made on the ear of an animal to show ownership.
—v.t. 1. to set aside for a specific purpose, use, recipient, etc.: to earmark goods for export. 2. to mark with an earmark.