What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?


[pohst-mahrk] /ˈpoʊstˌmɑrk/
an official mark stamped on letters and other mail, serving as a cancellation of the postage stamp and indicating the place, date, and sometimes time of sending or receipt.
verb (used with object)
to stamp with a postmark.
Origin of postmark
1670-80; post3 + mark1
Related forms
unpostmarked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for postmark
  • She stops for a moment now, trying to again remember the postmark on that letter.
  • If the postmark on the envelope is not legible, the taxpayer has the burden of proving the date that the postmark was made.
  • The envelope must remain with the file because, when material, the postmark establishes the filing date of the request for review.
  • Last day to postmark an application by mail for an absentee ballot.
  • postmark registered items twice on the back on the crossing of the upper and lower flaps.
  • If the appeal is metered, with no postmark on the envelope, the date of the meter mark shall be the filing date.
  • If the postmark is not legible, the sender has the burden of proving the date when the postmark was made.
British Dictionary definitions for postmark


any mark stamped on mail by postal officials, such as a simple obliteration, date mark, or indication of route See also cancellation
(transitive) to put such a mark on mail
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 postmark

1670s, from post (n.3) + mark (n.1). As a verb from 1716. Related: Postmarked; postmarking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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