Definition of hallmark in English:



  • 1A mark stamped on articles of gold, silver, or platinum by the British assay offices, certifying their standard of purity.

    • ‘He listed the weight of silver, the hallmarks and commented on the quality of the workmanship.’
    • ‘The hall courts also granted permission to establish a factory and inspected the goods produced; approved goods were stamped with a hallmark after payment of a fee.’
    • ‘Also included is a section titled ‘Who's Who in the House of Faberge,’ giving the workmasters, the companies, and their hallmarks and other stamps.’
    • ‘This is to be an appeal against the proposal by Italy for the abandonment of hallmarks on gold and silver throughout the EU.’
    • ‘The hallmarks applied to the silver examples enable approximate dates of manufacture to be applied to those made in glass.’
    assay mark, official mark, authentication mark, stamp of authenticity, stamp of authentication
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    1. 1.1 A distinctive feature.
      ‘the tiny bubbles are the hallmark of fine champagnes’
      • ‘Long hours, mysterious forced injections for female workers and unattainable quotas are the hallmark of factories on the Massacre river.’
      • ‘The whole affair has typified the double standards that are a hallmark of New Labour.’
      • ‘Intellectual consistency is the hallmark of a fine legal mind.’
      • ‘This blend of practicality and visual/tactile appeal remains the hallmark of the ever-expanding line of Pearce Grip products.’
      • ‘A true coffee lover knows that the hallmark of a truly fine establishment is the free refill.’
      • ‘They may not be the best hurling team around but they have some fine players and the hallmark of their play is honest endeavour.’
      • ‘Clear and distinct ideas are the hallmark of Cartesian thought, and Marion turns to the meaning of idea in Descartes.’
      • ‘All these influences helped him develop the geometrically regular and spare outlines that became the hallmark of his style.’
      • ‘The Servant has all the hallmarks of good British case studies of ‘normal’ life and the abnormal things we do in it.’
      • ‘Of course, he could be simply practicing the fine ear for accents that is the hallmark of any truly great actor.’
      • ‘After all, a glaring double standard has been a hallmark of our nation's drug policy for decades.’
      • ‘I'm constantly hearing it referenced as the hallmark of useful design that masks powerful features.’
      • ‘He was determined to apply himself with the same diligence which was the hallmark of his refereeing.’
      • ‘In the women's double Elise Laverick and Sarah Winckless displayed the mid-course maturity that has been a hallmark of the British women's squad here to take bronze.’
      • ‘If he can get into his stride from the throw-in at Clones, then Coulter has the capacity to leave his hallmark of solid gold quality firmly etched on the game.’
      • ‘For all those reasons, uncertainty is the hallmark of the position obtained by somebody acquiring one of these products and, certainly, no countable risk.’
      • ‘Good proportions and substance are the hallmark of a fine St Bernard.’
      • ‘In contrast, ‘Parallel Universe’ is a catchy song with the hallmarks of a foot-tapping standard.’
      • ‘The writer adapted the production from his own stage play, and each interchange has an authenticity which is the hallmark of a fine ear for dialogue.’
      • ‘For many artists, the pixelated line that is the hallmark of digital drawing programs has become as available a device as unmediated strokes of pen and ink.’
      distinctive feature, mark, sign, indicator, indication, sure sign, telltale sign
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  • 1Stamp with a hallmark.

    ‘he was reprimanded for not hallmarking his work’
    • ‘Every link of its silver chain is stamped and hallmarked.’
    • ‘For 700 years - let me repeat that for 700 years we have had a system for hallmarking precious metals.’
    • ‘The phone is hallmarked by the Swiss Assay office.’
    • ‘The Carriage Office continues to license taxis and hackneys in the city and the Assay Office, which hallmarks genuine silver artifacts, also perpetuates a centuries old tradition.’
    • ‘In 1637, Goldsmiths of Dublin was given the responsibility of assaying and hallmarking all gold and silverware produced in Ireland.’
    1. 1.1 Mark as distinctive.
      ‘this attitude hallmarks many a Briton's behaviour abroad’
      • ‘He may be still thought of by the Lansdowne faithful as the desperation substitution that hallmarked so much that was wrong at the end of the Brian Kerr era but at club level, Gary Doherty is in the form of his life.’
      • ‘Retrocalcaneal bursitis is a distinct entity hallmarked by pain that is anterior to the Achilles tendon and just superior to its insertion on the os calcis.’
      • ‘Psychologically, heavy daily use can induce toxic psychosis, a psychotic episode hallmarked by panic, fear and hallucination.’
      • ‘So there are a number of things that hallmarked Pentecostalism in its early years that we don't see in what might even be called neo-Pentecostal movements.’
      • ‘Thus ‘Do Your Best’ rattles along at a clubbable bpm without sacrificing the percussion and guitar lines that hallmark true Afrobeat.’
      • ‘The game was hallmarked by a superb full back display by Kellie Dalton, past whom nothing found passage, although she had generous aid from a better-balanced team.’
      • ‘So if you fancy black silk sheets hallmarked with the name of your house, or silk organza drapes emblazoned with unicorns - all you have to do is ask.’
      • ‘Australia was only one chapter in the great narrative of empire, whose spread across the globe was everywhere hallmarked by cultural theft and indigenous dispossession.’
      • ‘It remains unclear, however, how the promised ‘zero tolerance’ and new aggressiveness with ‘unruly elements’ will make a difference against crime that has been hallmarked by stealth and guile.’
      • ‘The Premiership is hallmarked by fast and fierce football and one-to-one marking.’
      • ‘The title betrayed an ingrained antipathy towards the music industry that would hallmark his career.’
      • ‘In an age that is hallmarked by scientific investigation, Western societies are occupied with the desire to know everything, such as determining how to stop the aging process, or defining which compounds comprise the surface of Mars.’
      • ‘Horns, Rhodes and electric piano hallmark the jazzy funk of the house cuts (de rigueur for his albums).’
      • ‘He was critically ill but demonstrated the battling qualities that have hallmarked his fight for life ever since.’
      • ‘The brand personality is consistently hallmarked by individuality, innovation, competence and non-conformism.’
      • ‘Lack of confidence in front of the goal hallmarked the Carlow forward line in Sunday's SFC tie in Portlaoise.’
      • ‘The holy wall that has separated fact from opinion and which has hallmarked newspaper journalism for almost a century now can never be breached say the traditionalists, but new challenges demand new thinking and new business models.’
      • ‘Insecure styles are hallmarked by features of instability, including ambivalent behavior, preoccupation, avoidant responses, and a lack of cooperative communication in the mother-child pair.’
      • ‘The combination football and accurate shooting that hallmarked their Leinster final success was again in evidence.’
      • ‘The speed and verve of the humour that hallmarks The Simpsons is almost completely missing in these intricate, but amateurish, cartoon strips with mile upon mile of annoyingly small, handwritten captions.’
      discolour, stain, smear, smudge, streak, blotch, blot, blemish
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Early 18th century (as a noun): from Goldsmiths' Hall in London, where articles were tested and stamped with such a mark.