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black mark

an indication of failure or censure:
His chronic lateness is a black mark against him.
Origin of black mark
1835-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for black-mark
Historical Examples
  • Rowe grinned when he said this, for he thought of the black-mark nonsense and realized that Frank took it in earnest.

  • This was a black-mark day when she had neither, and she thought about her life more intently than usual.

    Betty Leicester Sarah Orne Jewett
British Dictionary definitions for black-mark

black mark

an indication of disapproval, failure, etc
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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Contemporary definitions for black-mark

an indication on one's record of a grievous error, misdeed, or failure; demerit


Missing that meeting was a black mark against me.'s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Idioms and Phrases with black-mark

black mark

An indication of censure or failure, as in If you refuse to work late, won't that be a black mark against you? This phrase alludes to a literal black mark, such as a cross, that was put next to a person's name, indicating that he or she had incurred a rebuke or penalty of some kind. [ Mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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