hallmark

noun
hall·​mark | \ ˈhȯl-ˌmärk How to pronounce hallmark (audio) \

Definition of hallmark

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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 a hallmark from the Ming dynasty
2 : a distinguishing characteristic, trait, or feature the dramatic flourishes which are the hallmark of the trial lawyer— Marion K. Sanders

hallmark

verb
hallmarked; hallmarking; hallmarks

Definition of hallmark (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to stamp with a mark that indicates origin, purity, or genuineness : to stamp with a hallmark (see hallmark entry 1)

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Synonyms for hallmark

Synonyms: Noun

emblem, ensign, impresa, logo, symbol, totem, trademark

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The Golden History of Hallmark

Noun

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.

Examples of hallmark in a Sentence

Noun

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One of the hallmarks of the beginning of spring every year is the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C., when the beautiful soft pink petals bloom and create a gorgeous backdrop for the Capitol. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "This Is When The Cherry Blossoms Will Peak in Washington D.C," 15 Mar. 2019 One of the hallmarks of Smart Cities is the maximal openness and availability of the data that's collected to make a smart city possible. Dan Rosenbaum, Ars Technica, "All hail the AI overlord: Smart cities and the AI Internet of Things," 7 Dec. 2018 Nearly all the drug candidates have targeted one of the key hallmarks of Alzheimer’s: amyloid plaques, the barnacle-like proteins long considered the main culprits behind the disease. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 Soon, Gritty had all the hallmarks of a powerful meme icon in 2018, and few of them were overseen by the Flyers. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Gritty’s evolution from googly-eyed hockey mascot to meme to leftist avatar, explained," 24 Dec. 2018 Millennials tend to prefer dining experiences that are quick, customizable, communal and cheap, all the hallmarks of fast-casual dining. Tim Carman, chicagotribune.com, "Millennials tip the least, but it may not be for the reasons you think," 7 July 2018 Clouse doesn’t know what killed the tenacious 23-year-old, but said that Emmi had recently gone back to school and showed all the hallmarks of a crusader in the making. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Art exhibit in Pigtown humanizes female sex workers and drug addicts," 6 July 2018 With the correct prescription, an addict’s compulsive behavior, loss of control, constant cravings, and other hallmarks of addiction will usually vanish. Katrine Jo Andersen, The New Republic, "Rejected by A.A.," 27 June 2018 Millennials tend to prefer dining experiences that are quick, customizable, communal and cheap, all the hallmarks of fast-casual dining. Tim Carman, Anchorage Daily News, "Millennials tip the least, but it may not be for the reasons you think," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Despite a season hallmarked by miscommunication between the player’s camp and the Spurs, Leonard and Popovich maintained a solid — albeit often long-distance — relationship. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Where will Kawhi play next season, and other burning Spurs questions?," 28 Apr. 2018 The inside linebacker blitzes that have long hallmarked Pittsburgh’s scheme also remain. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "The Pittsburgh Steelers Might Have the Best Defense in the AFC," 20 Sep. 2017 The driving idea behind the projects has been to embed the cooperative multiplayer experience within the company’s hallmark open-world games. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Ghost Recon: Wildlands’ — flawed but deep open-world shooter," 7 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hallmark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hallmark

Noun

1721, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1773, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hallmark

Noun and Verb

Goldsmiths' Hall, London, England, where gold and silver articles were assayed and stamped

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Dictionary Entries near hallmark

halliard

halling

hallion

hallmark

hall monitor

hallmoot

hallo

Statistics for hallmark

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hallmark

The first known use of hallmark was in 1721

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More Definitions for hallmark

hallmark

noun

English Language Learners 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

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Comments on hallmark

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