Simple Definition of hallmark
: a quality, ability, etc., that is typical of a particular person or thing
: an official mark that is put on gold and silver objects in Britain to indicate their purity
Full Definition of hallmark
1 a : an official mark stamped on gold and silver articles in England to attest their purity b : a mark or device placed or stamped on an article of trade to indicate origin, purity, or genuineness
2 : a distinguishing characteristic, trait, or feature <the dramatic flourishes which are the hallmark of the trial lawyer — Marion K. Sanders>
Examples of hallmark in a sentence
He had all the hallmarks of a great baseball player.
Humor is one of the hallmarks of her style.
The murder bore all the hallmarks of a serial killer's work.
Did You Know?
Centuries ago, King Edward I of England decreed that gold and silver had to be tested and approved by master craftsmen before being sold. Later, London artisans were required to bring finished metal goods to Goldsmith's Hall to be checked, and if those items met the quality standards of the craft-masters there, they would be marked with a special stamp of approval. (The process is much the same today.) At first, people used hallmark to name that mark of excellence from Goldsmith's Hall, but over the years the word came to refer to any mark guaranteeing purity or genuineness, and eventually to name any sign of outstanding talent, creativity, or excellence.
Origin and Etymology of hallmark
Goldsmiths' Hall, London, England, where gold and silver articles were assayed and stamped
First Known Use: 1721
Definition of hallmark
: to stamp with a hallmark
First Known Use of hallmark
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up hallmark? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).