1

hallmark

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noun hall·mark \ˈhȯl-ˌmärk\

Definition of hallmark

  1. 1a :  an official mark stamped on gold and silver articles in England to attest their purityb :  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. 2 :  a distinguishing characteristic, trait, or feature the dramatic flourishes which are the hallmark of the trial lawyer — Marion K. Sanders

hallmark was our Word of the Day on 03/26/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of hallmark in a Sentence

  1. He had all the hallmarks of a great baseball player.

  2. Humor is one of the hallmarks of her style.

  3. 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


2

hallmark

verb hall·mark

Definition of hallmark

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to stamp with a mark that indicates origin, purity, or genuineness :  to stamp with a hallmark (see 1hallmark)

Origin and Etymology of hallmark

see 1hallmark


First Known Use: 1773


HALLMARK Defined for English Language Learners

hallmark

play
noun

Definition of hallmark for English Language Learners

  • : 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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