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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
  • Many consider this extended live coverage a hallmark in television news.
  • Petroglyphs are one of the earliest expressions of abstract thinking and are considered a hallmark of humanity.
  • Outstanding graduate programs are the hallmark of a great university.
  • Anthropologists consider burying the dead an indicator of a spiritual belief system and a hallmark of modern humans.
  • Working long hours is considered a hallmark of a medical residency.
  • Benny was a unique and memorable individual whose hallmark was honor, truth and generosity of spirit.
  • Convenience is not a hallmark of these destinations.
  • The skinned knee is a hallmark of childhood summers.
  • It is the hallmark of a successful technology that it becomes almost invisible.
  • It is a spectacularly beautiful place and a hugely significant hallmark for ocean conservation.
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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