I am having trouble finding an appropriate word for the following situation:

I have a group of objects which require certain actions to be performed on them. Before performing any action on any of the objects, I assess each one and determine which action will be performed.

The action at issue is "disposal", where I am looking to say that certain objects have been "pegged for disposal".

Specifically, the word "pegged" troubles me here as it seems almost conversational, whereas the affectation I am going for is more business-oriented.

  • "Marked for disposal" is out of the question as no marking has been made, simply an act of judgement having passed.
  • "Requiring disposal" also does not fit the bill as the objects themselves do not require disposal. It is not an assessment of their state but rather a judgement that has been passed upon them.
  • "Selected for disposal" seems to assume that the main action we are here to perform is disposal when in fact it is but one of several possibilities.

I am looking to avoid changes of the noun to an adjective, i.e. "objects deemed disposable" as this changes the meaning of the phrase as with the earlier example of "requiring".

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  • 11
    Welcome to the site! It is good to see that you use your language with care. But I don't think I agree with you about marked: it is common enough to use the term somewhat more loosely/metaphorically, not requiring an actual mark. The same applies to selected: the objects are selected for disposal. Whether or not disposal is their primary function or possibility doesn't seem relevant to me. Other alternatives are chosen, designated, culled, etc. Lastly, I see no problem with adjectives like simply disposable (without deemed), nor with infinitival phrases like to be disposed. Commented May 3, 2017 at 16:32
  • ... and the sense of 'mark[ed]' Cerberus mentions is clearly given in say AHD, Collins. Commented May 3, 2017 at 16:36
  • 1
    I would definitely use marked - pegged is just a less common synonym in this case.
    – Stephen S
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 17:28
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    @Stephen S: I'd probably use earmarked rather than plain marked. I don't think the formal/informal distinction applies to either of those, but for more "colloquially metaphoric" contexts I'd say slated is more likely than pegged (which latter sounds at least slightly odd to me). Commented May 3, 2017 at 17:39
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    Yes, I agree with earmarked, the usual metaphoric term in the UK. (It emanates from the practice of clipping the ears of cattle, in order to mark the ones set aside for some purpose - possibly slaughter).
    – WS2
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 18:54

9 Answers 9


Consider slate:

2. a. To put down (a name, etc.) on a writing-slate; to set down, book, for something; also constructed to with infinitive. Also, to plan, propose, or schedule (an event). Chiefly U.S.

(OED, bolding mine) The phrase "slated for disposal" is not uncommon in American English:

Thousands of beef cutlets slated for disposal sold in Japan

EPA Seeking Comment On Re-classifying PCB-Contaminated Building Materials Slated For Disposal


You have rejected marked because "no marking has been made, simply an act of judgement having passed". In this sense you are treating "marked" as the past participle of the verb "to mark".

However, I contend that marked is in fact the right choice. The free dictionary gives us the following definitions for marked as an adjective:


  1. Having one or more distinguishing marks.

  2. Clearly defined and evident; noticeable: a marked increase in temperature.

  3. Singled out, especially for a dire fate: a marked man.

Definition 3 is the relevant one here: singled out.

  • 3
    I actually don't think 3 is the right sense: it is highly idiomatic and more specific than in the OP's case. Senses 1 and 2 don't really fit either. I think the ordinary past participle marked is the best interpretation. I agree with you that marked would be fine in this case. Commented May 3, 2017 at 17:11
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    @Cerberus is mistaken. Three is the right sense and not idiomatic at all, although the example is rather misleading. Per OP, the projects designated for replacement have been definitionally singled out regardless of any physical markings. Furthermore, in almost any business setting, there will be markings somewhere (flowchart, work orders, notepads, &c.) so that it does include the physical marking sense as well.
    – lly
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 4:19
  • I admit, I agree with your reasoning. After reassessing my position on the matter, I believe my problem with using marked is simply a subjective one of personal connotations. I'm relying on my sense of the language and the word marked just doesn't fit in context. I understand I was probably too vague in giving the context -_-" sorry about that. I selected another answer that, to my ears and acquired sense of the language, feels to be the appropriate word.
    – Guy Passy
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 7:17
  • @GuyPassy - Thanks for the explanation. And I think you have made a very good choice with your selected answer.
    – AndyT
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 8:21
  • @lly: Perhaps I was not clear enough: I think marked is fine in the OP's example; I just don't think that this use of marked is the one defined in sense 3 from the Free Dictionary. I rather feel that the sense in which it is used here is the ordinary past participle, not the adjective (as far as such a distinction makes sense). Commented May 4, 2017 at 14:42

Typically, in programming or in bureaucratic endeavors, lists of items are:

1) flagged for disposal [items in a list are flagged for disposal]


2) tagged for disposal [in the real world, to be placed in the garbage bin]

And pegged is for describing people or situations and means: labeled. The politician was pegged as a revisionist.

  • I think all of those words would be fine, although they are admittedly somewhat informal, which is what the OP didn't want. Commented May 3, 2017 at 17:12
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    @Cerberus Sorry but you are mistaken. In a business context, flagged is used all the time and there is nothing informal about it. Of course, we have no idea what is being flagged.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 17:26
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    @Cerberus For purposes of business communications, in which widgets, processes and procedures are being discussed in internal memos, etc., the word flagged is business oriented, just like the OP requested. For example, if you are discussing the agenda for a meeting, one person could write to another: I've flagged the important items for your attention. This would not be ""informal"" usage; it would be the only usage for this meaning of pointing out items as important.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 18:56
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    I'm afraid I cannot access that page. I would really consider flagged for items on an agenda to be less formal than 'average', unless actual flags (like symbols) were involved. "Marked" or similar would be neutral with respect to formality, at least for me. Commented May 3, 2017 at 22:03
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    Unless the program involves an actual "flagging" protocol like StackEx, in any situation where "flagging" or "tagged" are appropriate marked is more appropriate. Programming flags and tags are a case of technical jargon; it shows up in other contexts but is only an improvement to the extent they make things less formal, which OP was eschewing.
    – lly
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 4:22

Designate, as in "Designated for disposal."

  • But in any case where "designated for disposal" works, "marked for disposal" would work better. It's just the more awkward latiny cousin.
    – lly
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 4:24
  • @lly Why do you say that marked would work better? I interpreted the question as looking for a formal verb which did not have an alternative (esp. more common) definition which was a physical action. "Mark," "Slate," "Flag," "Tag," "Label" all make sense, but can be used to describe specific physical actions as well. I would say words like "identify" or "designate" are the best words to fulfill the requirements of the question. Although, clearly, the author does not!
    – Evan
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 12:35
  • "Designate" literally means to place a physical sign upon something as well. It's nearly exactly identical to 'mark', just from a different original language. "Identify" doesn't really work since, at the literal level we're apparently working at, it means to discover a preëxisting status and not to mark something for an action separate from its own identity.
    – lly
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 9:28
  • @lly Regarding "designate:" what is the original language? Would you mind pointing me to this definition? I am not seeing it in English dictionaries that I have checked.
    – Evan
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 18:45
  • Latin.
    – lly
    Commented May 13, 2017 at 19:15

A possibility that seems to deliver the "when in fact it is but one of several possibilities" part of your question is

Identified for disposal


To establish or recognize the identity of; ascertain as a certain person or thing

To ascertain as having a certain characteristic or feature


Land identified for disposal

In the Winnemucca District Office of the BLM’s resource management plan, over 300,000 acres of BLM lands in Pershing County have been identified for potential disposal. The sale or exchange of these lands will create important economic development opportunities for Pershing County. This bill would allow the sale land of up to 150,000 acres identified for disposal.


Assets identified for disposal may be dispensed with using the procedures below. Acceptable methods of disposal are:...


Some form of 'marked' ('designated', 'slated', 'slotted') probably remains your best option since—aside from their figurative senses—you almost certainly are marking something to record which actions are being taken to which items. "Pegged" is a precise (and less appropriate) synonym to each of them, since you're not talking about literally placing a peg in a literal board.

Since it's only been mentioned in @Cerberus's comment so far, though, I'll note you're also wrong about


...chosen; picked out...

It remains perfectly appropriate. Regardless of what your primary action may be, the items selected for deletion have been selected for deletion, just as all the other items have been selected for whatever process they'll undergo.

  • I did end up going with, as you say, some form of 'marked' - specifically slated. I take your point regarded selected, though still I contend that it does not fit in the specific context. I understand that the context I gave is... lacking
    – Guy Passy
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 7:30

You might consider earmarked, the past participle of "to earmark":

to set aside or mark out for a specific purpose


This was a very good suggestion from FumbleFingers in comments on the question which deserved to be made into a proper answer


Assess may be the term you need.

You are identifying objects for disposal that, you say, may not be disposed of; that is only one option. So perhaps you are assesing for disposition, where the disposition is yet to be determined, e.g., as an appraiser of a variety of items in an estate might do. Some items will be sold at auction; some will be disposed of one way or another.

From Google:

as·sess əˈses/ verb verb: assess; 3rd person present: assesses; past tense: assessed; past participle: assessed; gerund or present participle: assessing

evaluate or estimate the nature, ability, or quality of.
"the committee must assess the relative importance of the issues"
synonyms: evaluate, judge, gauge, rate, estimate, appraise, consider, get the measure of, determine, analyze; informal size up
  • I think the pegging OP is trying to replace is the result of an assessment: “I assess each one and determine which action will be performed.”
    – Jim
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 0:09
  • Oh, you're right. Why doesn't he just use it then?
    – Xanne
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 0:59
  • I think that the assessment will result in pegging or not pegging. All items will be assessed. Only some of them will be designated for disposal.
    – Jim
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 1:02

"Marked for disposal" is out of the question as no marking has been made, simply an act of judgement having passed.

You artificially and wrongly limit yourself to the marks being on the equipment being marked for disposal. After all, the mark could have been made on an inventory report.

(If your reply is that there was no marking on an inventory report, how are you transmitting to others the requirement that the equipment must be disposed? There must be some marks somewhere, even if those marks are what we call writing.)

I prefer "flagged", though, if you want something formal.

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