hallmark

noun
hall·​mark | \ ˈhȯl-ˌmärk \

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

On stage, dignity, integrity and honor have been known to be hallmarks of ballet’s art. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "Personnel Changes and Premieres," 9 Oct. 2018 In two patients who got a medium dose of the treatment, urine levels of large sugar compounds that are hallmarks of Hunter syndrome had fallen by half, on average, four months later — a possible sign the treatment is working. Fox News, "Early results boost hopes for historic gene editing attempt," 7 Sep. 2018 According to the Bethany Airport Restoration Committee’s Facebook page, a huge navigational arrow, a hallmark of the old airport, was located to the north of the hangar and excavated a few years ago. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "Hiking At Abandoned Bethany Airport," 23 Mar. 2018 If grassburs and crabgrass have been hallmarks of your lawn in past summers, prevent them by applying Team, Dimension or Halts granules now. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "Spring has sprung, if the plants are any indication. Here, what needs to be done now | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 9 Mar. 2018 The hallmarks of his teenage years—the keg parties, the yearbook inside jokes, Beach Week—were all very much the norm for my own. Jason Zengerle, Town & Country, "Brett Kavanaugh and the Private School Pecking Order," 16 Oct. 2018 In his 21 months running the department, Mattis, 68, has laid the groundwork for substantive changes but largely has yet to cement any hallmark, legacy-defining reforms to the way the armed forces train, fight and are equipped. Dan Lamothe, The Seattle Times, "Mattis’ goals teeter as he works to temper Trump," 15 Oct. 2018 All hallmarks of minimalism—the design style that advocates for less stuff and more space, more calm. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Less Is More: 15 Home Items Ideal For the Budding Minimalist," 27 Sep. 2018 Researchers also found a link between higher pressure and one of the signs of Alzheimer’s — tangles of a protein called tau — but not another Alzheimer’s hallmark, amyloid plaques. Washington Post, "Late-life high blood pressure may harm the brain, study says," 11 July 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

16 Feb 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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