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

A decade later, broad appeal has become a hallmark of the teen TV genre. Bethonie Butler, Washington Post, "With rampant drug use and graphic sex scenes, ‘Euphoria’ is the latest teen TV show that isn’t actually meant for teens," 17 June 2019 The officials, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity because many elements of the investigation remain secret, said the type and timing of the attacks bear Iranian hallmarks. Erin Cunningham, BostonGlobe.com, "After tanker attack, Trump insists ‘Iran did do it,’ rejecting denials," 14 June 2019 The officials, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity because many elements of the investigation remain secret, said the type and timing of the attacks bear Iranian hallmarks. Erin Cunnigham, Anchorage Daily News, "Iran calls claims it attacked oil tankers ‘economic terrorism’ by US," 14 June 2019 Pride, festivities and more of both are the hallmarks of this year’s Juneteenth celebrations. Vincent T. Davis, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio Juneteenth Association celebrates emancipation," 13 June 2019 Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang is redoubling his efforts to promote a hallmark campaign policy -- a $1,000 universal basic income for every American over the age of 18 -- by giving an Iowa family $1,000 a month for one year. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Presidential candidate Andrew Yang to give Iowa family $1,000 a month," 11 June 2019 Other hallmarks of a healthy workplace, such as open communication, autonomy to do one’s best work and work-life flexibility were also reasons employees gave their companies kudos. Michael Schroeder, Indianapolis Star, "Top Workplaces 2019: A positive workplace culture is key, Energage says," 8 June 2019 The hallmarks include commitment to community service and promoting justice and peace. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "East Catholic High School graduates another generation," 7 June 2019 These were shrewd decisions, the hallmark of an artist who understood the importance of keeping the public on his side. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Soulless and the Fallacy of R. Kelly’s Need for ‘Help’," 6 June 2019

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

22 Jun 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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