1

hallmark

noun hall·mark \ ˈhȯl-ˌmärk \
Updated on: 1 Dec 2017

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
  • 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 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.

Recent Examples of hallmark from the Web

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.

The Golden History of hallmark

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


2

hallmark

verb

Definition of hallmark

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

Recent Examples of hallmark from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of hallmark


HALLMARK Defined for English Language Learners

hallmark

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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