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

Loyalty and consistency were hallmarks of Bonnie's life. sun-sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 8/20," 20 Aug. 2019 These accumulate into the plaques that are the hallmarks of the disease. San Diego Union-Tribune, "USC and UC San Diego try to move on after painful fight over Alzheimer’s institute," 18 Aug. 2019 Elaborate patterns, ornamentation, and luxe materials are hallmarks of that style. Washington Post, "Fall décor’s style song: feel-good vibes and personality," 6 Aug. 2019 More than a century after Alzheimer’s disease was first described, there still isn’t a treatment to control the cognitive decline and memory loss that are the hallmarks of the neurodegenerative condition. Alice Park, Time, "A New Alzheimer's Blood Test Proved 94% Accurate in Finding Brain Changes Related to the Disease," 1 Aug. 2019 Since then, a hallmark of their relationship has been the tendency to show each other love in a big way. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Bridal Bliss: Kornelius and Rachel Came Ready Carpet Ready To Their Elegant Ceremony," 21 Aug. 2019 One hallmark of the generational difference between Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama was in their view of the place. New York Times, "Obama and Biden’s Relationship Looks Rosy. It Wasn’t Always That Simple.," 16 Aug. 2019 Good food with history and a connection to the people who work at the park and live in the region is a hallmark of Silver Dollar City. Diana Lambdin Meyer, Dallas News, "Culinary school cooks up excitement at Silver Dollar City," 30 July 2019 The hallmark of a fresh pilsner is the dense, white head. Andre Meunier, oregonlive.com, "Eight elite NW breweries to throw down in Pilsner Fest challenge," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Byrne recalled her brother’s sense of humor, hallmarked an uncanny ability to impersonate anyone. Michael Brice-saddler, Washington Post, "Among the Texas shooting victims: A high-school student, a beloved uncle and a father of two," 1 Sep. 2019 Opponents said the bill would have eroded Hong Kong’s hallmark judicial independence and exposed its residents to politicized cases. Washington Post, "Hong Kong protests move forward despite police objections," 11 Aug. 2019 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

14 Sep 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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