gold star

noun
1.
a gold-colored star displayed, as on a service flag, to indicate that a member of one's family, organization, or the like, was killed in war as a member of the armed forces.
2.
Informal.
a.
symbolic approval or recognition for outstanding merit or effort: You get the gold star for cooking such a gourmet dinner.
b.
anything that represents an outstanding effort or achievement: Her promotion was the gold star she'd been working for.

Origin:
1920–25, Americanism

gold-star, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
There will be a sticker on the upper right corner designating the branch of
  service or gold star parent.
The promise of a gold star can get grade school students to read more and even
  take on extra-credit projects.
Each time you complete an activity on your list, mark it with a gold star.
Almost any government that brought stability has to be given a gold star.
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