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[hawl-mahrk] /ˈhɔlˌmɑrk/
an official mark or stamp indicating a standard of purity, used in marking gold and silver articles assayed by the Goldsmiths' Company of London; plate mark.
any mark or special indication of genuineness, good quality, etc.
any distinguishing feature or characteristic:
Accuracy is a hallmark of good scholarship.
verb (used with object)
to stamp or imprint (something) with a hallmark.
Origin of hallmark
1715-25; Goldsmiths' Hall, London, the seat of the Goldsmiths' Company + mark1
Related forms
hallmarker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hallmark
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This tendency to detail, which is the hallmark of realism, constitutes decline.

    Heart of Man George Edward Woodberry
  • Only the identity of the maker is revealed by the hallmark on American silver.

  • It was, at all events, the demeanor popularly supposed to be the hallmark of the duchess.

    The Messenger Elizabeth Robins
  • What (p. 310)they meant was that it was unconventional, was without the dignity of tradition to give it its hallmark.

  • Within, on either side, was a partition, and there was a silver clasp on which the hallmark was English.

    The Powers and Maxine Charles Norris Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for hallmark


(Brit) an official series of marks, instituted by statute in 1300, and subsequently modified, stamped by the Guild of Goldsmiths at one of its assay offices on gold, silver, or platinum (since 1975) articles to guarantee purity, date of manufacture, etc
a mark or sign of authenticity or excellence
an outstanding or distinguishing feature
(transitive) to stamp with or as if with a hallmark
Also (for senses 1, 4) platemark
Word Origin
C18: named after Goldsmiths' Hall in London, where items were graded and stamped
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hallmark

1721, official stamp of purity in gold and silver articles, from Goldsmiths' Hall in London, site of the assay office; see hall + mark (n.1). General sense of "mark of quality" first recorded 1864. As a verb from 1773.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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