from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Slang A government project or appropriation that yields jobs or other benefits to a specific locale and patronage opportunities to its political representative.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a legislative appropriation designed to ingratiate legislators with their constituents


From pork barrel, barrel for storing pork, supply of money.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


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  • A pork barrel, literally, is a barrel in which pork is kept. The term is more commonly used as a political metaphor for the appropriation of government spending for projects that are intended primarily to benefit particular constituents or campaign contributors. This usage originated in American English.

    February 7, 2008