Main definitions of mark in English

: mark1mark2



  • 1A small area on a surface having a different colour from its surroundings, typically one caused by damage or dirt.

    ‘the blow left a red mark down one side of her face’
    • ‘I must warn you though that your wheels will leave marks on the surface you're sliding on.’
    • ‘Always carefully check goods in the shop for damage, tears or marks, particularly if the item is in a sale.’
    • ‘He was left with puncture marks and a severe gash on his nose and severe damage to his top lip.’
    • ‘The films are not well preserved, so there are plenty of scratches and burn marks, and dirt on the prints.’
    • ‘There are also creams available at make up counters that reduce the look of red or purplish marks (it is usually green or purple in the bottle).’
    • ‘The yellow sponged raked over the arm viciously causing a deep red scuff marks to surface.’
    • ‘Oh boy… did I do a lot of damage… his whole face was either covered in red marks or a bruise.’
    • ‘Improvements in the technology behind its production mean that many papers are now more resistant to grubby marks and other damage.’
    • ‘No tool marks survive on the surface of the boat as a result of repeated scourings by wind, sand and water.’
    • ‘The lower screen on the one I've got here is scratched, but they're only surface marks - it's not as though the screen is really damaged, just the covering.’
    • ‘I observed her curiously as she hesitantly took off her coat, wincing as she did so; my eyes were called to her neck which was flawed mercilessly with red marks around the left side.’
    • ‘Looking up, she saw several holes dotted along its surface, burned scorch marks surrounding the edges.’
    • ‘Is the blanket showing any signs of damage such as scorch marks, broken ties, or do any of the wires inside the blanket feel like they are broken or unevenly spaced?’
    • ‘The bullet holes and blood seem even more disturbing when they are left as white marks on a dark surface.’
    • ‘I also noticed tire marks in dirt on the right side of the road.’
    • ‘William sat back, sulking at the red mark on the side of his cheek.’
    • ‘Grain is present throughout the feature as well as lots of dirt, reel marks, and scratches.’
    • ‘Splotched with marks of dirt and even blood, it looked filthy and gave her a conscious feeling of someone living in the gutters.’
    • ‘She lifted her right hand and lightly ran a finger over the red marks on her cheeks which she knew were the result of frostbite.’
    • ‘This hypothesis well explains why even the same cave has different patterns of calving and different chisel marks.’
    blemish, streak, spot, fleck, dot, blot, stain, smear, trace, speck, speckle, blotch, smudge, smut, smirch, fingermark, fingerprint, impression, imprint
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A spot, area, or feature on a person's or animal's body by which they may be identified or recognized.
      ‘he was five feet nine, with no distinguishing marks’
      • ‘I recognized individuals by natural marks such as black spots on the back or head and their toe-clip pattern.’
      • ‘He had no tattoos or other distinguishing body marks but he had two crowns on teeth to the front of his right upper jaw, possibly suggesting an accident or sporting injury.’
      • ‘These marks included distinctive spots and stripes on the back, shoulders, hips, hind legs, and rump of the gerbils.’
      • ‘The man was not immediately identified as the former Iraqi leader but marks on his body and other undisclosed information quickly indicated they had their man.’
      • ‘Even identifying marks will now be included on that state's register.’
  • 2A line, figure, or symbol made as an indication or record of something.

    ‘the first syllable has a stress mark’
    • ‘Bach, of course, left very few indications or interpretive marks as to how his music should go.’
    • ‘At the same time, line up the center marks on the template with your center axis mark on the ski.’
    • ‘Line the mark on your stock up with the doweling jig that corresponds to the size of the dowel you are using.’
    • ‘The mark looked like the symbol for life that the mystics had created years ago.’
    • ‘Here are some useful sites for anyone needing to display diacritical marks, mathematical symbols, etc.’
    • ‘As much as it pains me to admit it, there may not be an important moral argument for using an apostrophe rather than a tick mark.’
    • ‘As these marks are studied and recorded they can be of great assistance with accurate dating, particularly where company records still exist.’
    • ‘Although most of the headstones are severely weathered and illegible, cemetery staff will record all legible marks and inscriptions before removing the stones.’
    • ‘The skaters may be placed in the correct order, which is all that counts at the bottom line, but the marks are now totally meaningless.’
    • ‘It was a confusing mass of symbols and half-familiar marks.’
    • ‘This section measures knowledge of spelling rules and stress marks in Spanish.’
    • ‘The stress marks might seem quaint to us; but McGuffey believed that rhythm and harmony have not only an aesthetic but also a moral value.’
    • ‘Okay, you've got both skis mounted with the toe units, they're epoxied and the boot-heel center marks line up perfectly with those on your skis.’
    • ‘Google ignores most punctuation, except apostrophes, hyphens and quote marks.’
    • ‘EcoRI sites determined by restriction mapping are shown as tick marks on the genomic clones and as half-tick marks below the top line.’
    • ‘Using the edge of your workbench as a straightedge for the square, draw a set of nice black lines across the mounting marks, so you have a good visual reference.’
    • ‘Ancient stories are handed down from the days before we learned to store our thoughts in marks on paper or lines carved in stone, and the Gods live in these stories.’
    • ‘Accented and umlauted vowels, and diacritical marks on consonants must be avoided, because they act as roadblocks and break the speed of a typist.’
    symbol, sign, character
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A sign or indication of a quality or feeling.
      ‘the flag was at half mast as a mark of respect’
      • ‘As a mark of respect all club activities have been cancelled this weekend.’
      • ‘As a mark of respect and in order to allow students to attend the service, all lectures and classes in Italian were cancelled.’
      • ‘So the fact that this building is expensive is a mark of its quality.’
      • ‘An impressed stamp on the blade tang is usually the mark of a lower quality blade.’
      • ‘Marching is a mark of respect, especially to those who gave their lives.’
      • ‘WiFi in airport departure lines is the mark of civilised countries.’
      • ‘Corus corporate flags at plants across Britain and Europe are flying at half mast as a mark of respect.’
      • ‘So every time I was in a bar after that, I would add a Jameson on to my order and leave it on the bar as a mark of respect for a mate who couldn't have a drink.’
      • ‘And as a mark of respect for the victims of the tsunami the national flag will be flown at half mast on civic buildings next week.’
      • ‘There are lists of what to do in the event of arrest - and also guides to getting arrested as this is the mark of a high quality protester.’
      • ‘Flags were flying at half mast as a mark of respect for the Duke of Norfolk who died two days ago at the age of 86, the Arundel ground being part of the Duke's estate.’
      • ‘The rehabilitation of the bridges and roads should be a mark of quality for lengthy life of the facilities.’
      • ‘He ran a haulage firm and wanted me to take over, but I never fancied it so I named my butcher's shop after his firm as a mark of respect.’
      • ‘It is also right that flags in the city should be at half mast, as a mark of respect to the dead and their families.’
      • ‘But a raid of her house and seizure of her property is the mark of an out of control incipient police state.’
      • ‘Both sides of the crossing were covered with flowers by mourners, who left bouquets and countless soft toys as a mark of respect.’
      • ‘The red and white ballon flag flew at half mast as a mark of respect to the two people who had earlier died in a horrible crash.’
      • ‘The wonderful guard of honour formed by both these groups was a fitting mark of respect and was well deserved.’
      • ‘If the mark of a quality referee is to pass unnoticed, then Poll succeeded, albeit with the complicity of a set of almost angelic players.’
      • ‘Somehow, the brand of the magazine becomes the mark of quality rather than the individual work in it.’
      sign, token, symbol, indication, badge, emblem, symptom, feature, evidence, proof, clue, hint
      characteristic, feature, trait, attribute, quality, hallmark, badge, stamp, property, peculiarity, indicator
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2A written symbol made on a document in place of a signature by someone who cannot write.
      ‘he signed his mark in the visitor's book’
      signature, autograph, cross, x, scribble, squiggle, initials, imprint
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3A competitor's starting point in a race.
      • ‘He might have obtained better results simply by taking the differences in the lanes' staggered starting marks for an appropriate track event.’
      • ‘The handicapper's job is to make the race as competitive as possible by giving each competitor a mark off which to run.’
      • ‘The runners now toed this mark, each competitor leaning forward with his eye on the farther end of the platform.’
      • ‘He pocketed the penultimate race even after having to re-round the starting mark as he had jumped the start.’
    4. 2.4Nautical A piece of material or a knot used to indicate a depth on a sounding line.
    5. 2.5Telecommunications One of two possible states of a signal in certain systems.
      The opposite of space
    6. 2.6A level or stage that is considered significant.
      ‘unemployment had passed the two million mark’
      • ‘He began at one and he continues counting on a new canvas, beginning with the number he ended his last work on, reaching by now well past the five million mark.’
      • ‘Hundreds of people are continuing to sign up each day to our petition to save Terry's, with the number of signatures now flying past the 3,000 mark.’
      • ‘The million mark is actually quite an achievement.’
      • ‘Information technology has passed the million mark - and it's a statistic the sector is far from happy with.’
      • ‘This album, at worst, is going to take me over the 40 million quid mark.’
      • ‘Presumably she judged that once the death toll passed the quarter million mark, it became fair game for a bit of a snicker.’
      • ‘Botero was part of a group of seven which made a decisive break shortly after the 80 km mark of the stage.’
      • ‘Recent employment data showed the number of people over retirement age who are back in work has risen above the million mark for the first time.’
      • ‘This would see them hit the crucial five million mark.’
      • ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire did a little better but failed to top the million viewer mark.’
      • ‘The trio made their initial attack at the 22 km mark and at one stage pulled out a 5m 20s advantage.’
      • ‘Today sales are steering towards the three-quarters of a million mark.’
      • ‘Manchester Airport is back on course to break the 20 million passengers-a-year mark for the first time.’
      • ‘We reached the mark of one million visitors just a few moments ago.’
      • ‘The day's only climb, a fourth category rise over the Cote de Boutancourt, comes early in the stage at the 8.5km mark.’
      • ‘Richard Virenque takes the third climb at the halfway mark of the stage.’
      • ‘With another busy five months to go, things are looking good for Cork Airport to pass the two million passenger mark for the first time.’
      • ‘I did point out to the minion who rang me that come next spring we were likely to be in a position to have a balance somewhere around the quarter million mark.’
      • ‘The million mark for private cars was reached in Britain in 1930, with 10 million by 1967.’
      • ‘Worldwide, estimates top the one trillion mark - almost two million a minute.’
      point, level, stage, degree
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    7. 2.7British A particular temperature level in a gas oven.
      ‘preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5’
      • ‘Now tip the mix into the warm soufflé dish and stick the result in an oven at gas mark six.’
  • 3British A point awarded for a correct answer or for proficiency in an examination or competition.

    ‘many candidates lose marks because they don't read the questions carefully’
    figurative ‘full marks to them for highlighting the threat to the rainforest’
    • ‘If fields, houses, gates, fences, derelict houses are untidy, then we lose marks.’
    • ‘They got to a tie-breaker for third position, but were unfortunate to lose by a mark.’
    • ‘Students are awarded marks out of seven for each paper, and get a final overall score.’
    • ‘I sincerely hope I've done better than a U in French writing this time and I hope I've got enough marks in Chemistry so that I don't need to take any more exams for it in the summer.’
    • ‘There will be no marks awarded for the answer ‘They both write historical fantasy’.’
    • ‘Although the paper is 80 marks / answer all questions, there is some consolation in that several questions are perennial.’
    • ‘You're not going to get negative marks for writing down something wrong, nor will marks be deducted from another question.’
    • ‘I have to admit that Slovenia lost marks in my book for its food, despite the fact that it was much cheaper than in neighbouring Italy or Austria.’
    • ‘‘Make sure the answer sheet is stapled to your answer book or else you could lose a lot of marks if your answer sheet gets lost,’ he said.’
    • ‘Again, students would write a report on completion of an assignment, marks being gained as before.’
    • ‘A lot of marks are lost because people misread the questions.’
    • ‘The villages provide the judges with a map and description of the area, and then they go around different sections giving marks out of 25.’
    • ‘Stats and Maths papers were structured with 120 possible marks.’
    • ‘Extra marks are awarded for neatness, good spelling and strict adherence to the curriculum.’
    • ‘Government proposals could mean pupils who can't spell lose marks in GCSE and A level exams.’
    • ‘The eleven marks were lost despite the village being cleaned up every morning of the week.’
    • ‘For 45 marks, he was asked to ‘write an essay of about 40 lines on the advantages of a cheerful disposition’.’
    • ‘I know of a professor who was in the habit of deducting marks in examinations for bad spelling, poor grammar or clumsy sentences.’
    • ‘It is surely also the case that some students lose a few marks here and there because of this.’
    • ‘It is possible to discourage guessing by allocating one mark for a correct answer and minus one for an incorrect answer.’
    1. 3.1A figure or letter representing the total number of marks awarded in an examination or competition and signifying a person's score.
      ‘the highest mark was 98 per cent’
      • ‘Last summer there were around 52,000 protests against A-level marks, of which about 10% resulted in an overall grade change.’
      • ‘This summer she received 4 grade As at A-level, achieving top marks in several papers.’
      • ‘The continuing upward trend in results has prompted calls for the marks awarded to each exam to be published rather than a grade, so students' performances can be differentiated more easily.’
      • ‘She usually stressed about her academic marks when she wasn't depressed and morbid.’
      • ‘Researchers discovered that different academics gave different marks for the same essays.’
      • ‘The modular approach to A-levels should, if anything, be extended but marks should be formally recorded for each module rather than hidden under an overall grade.’
      • ‘Other Hampshire schools and colleges were toasting record marks.’
      • ‘These are some of the terms used to describe children unable to learn or more importantly who score poor marks in their examinations.’
      • ‘He awarded marks ranging from six to ten, with his six favourites all receiving the ten mark.’
      • ‘Probably most interesting out of the whole debacle is the notion that science students can't get good marks if they can't write well.’
      • ‘This led to a broader approach to teaching programmes and abolished the link between Proficiency marks and secondary education.’
      • ‘I thought about taking it before exams, but then again, I never ever got good marks, when I wrote smart things, so I didn't.’
      • ‘A student gets to prepare his own report card, adding explanatory paragraphs that put the best possible spin on his marks.’
      • ‘The problems in the evaluation system is not limited to the disparity in marks between different universities.’
      • ‘A high-flying young Chorley scientist is focusing on a career path which could help save thousands of lives after receiving record marks in her degree.’
      • ‘At the University of Calgary, he hopped from fine arts in his first year to drama in his second, working hard to improve his marks and writing skills.’
      • ‘At the end of the course of study, candidates receive a mark from one to seven in each subject.’
      • ‘This comprises writing comments for sight, colour, nose and palate of each drink, and then awarding a mark out of ten.’
      • ‘In other words, essays attributed to children with popular names were given higher marks than essays purportedly written by children with unusual names.’
      • ‘We can all see that schooling has grown to mean exams, marks, stress, and tension for the parents, tuitions.’
      grade, grading, rating, score, percentage
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    2. 3.2Horse Racing An official assessment of a horse's form, expressed as a figure between 0 and 140 and used as the basis for calculating the weight the horse has to carry in a race.
      ‘horses tend to run off a higher mark over fences than they would over hurdles’
      • ‘He has work to do off his revised handicap mark, but Medison never got the chance to show what he could do in two subsequent starts as he made a bad error at Aintree and was over the top for the campaign at Sandown.’
      • ‘Their stablemate War At Sea could be a bit better than his handicap mark suggests here.’
      • ‘Ettrick Water races off a mark just 2lb higher in the Scotland the Brand Scottish Trophy Stakes and he looks the one they all have to beat.’
      • ‘If their horse finishes anywhere near the good ones, his handicap mark will be ruined and he could go two seasons without winning another race.’
      • ‘The William Haggas-trained gelding has progressed nicely this season and still looks to figure on a competitive handicap mark.’
    3. 3.3(especially in athletics) a time or distance achieved by a competitor, especially one which represents a record or personal best.
      ‘he blasted away from the field during the second lap to knock a second off the existing mark’
      • ‘She set a British under-20 indoor pentathlon record, bettering the marks of two who would become Olympic champions, Denise Lewis and Sally Gunnell.’
      • ‘Thorpe is the current Olympic and triple world champion in the 400 meters and holds three world marks in freestyle distances.’
      • ‘But her marks are in the record books and appear set to stay there for a good while longer yet.’
      • ‘In these she recorded marks of 12. 53s and 1. 51m to put her in an overall 14th place.’
      • ‘He also helped set three relay world records and lowered his own mark in the 400 freestyle.’
      required standard, standard, norm, par, level, criterion, gauge, yardstick, rule, measure, scale
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  • 4(followed by a numeral) a particular model or type of a vehicle or machine.

    ‘a Mark 10 Jaguar’
  • 5A target.

    ‘few bullets could have missed their mark’
    • ‘She may miss the mark sometimes, but you've gotta applaud her sense of adventure.’
    • ‘Some right-winger attempting to be ironic, some points hit a mark, some are hateful and off target.’
    • ‘I'm always hitting marks, and saying the jokes, and having a good time.’
    • ‘When a History Channel doc makes you think, then the writers and researchers have done their job, they're hitting their marks as well as can be.’
    • ‘I think his answer is - or I should say, proposal, if indeed we can call it that, misses the mark.’
    • ‘These assaults, and their implicit criticism of the active VP, miss the mark.’
    • ‘And with hummable lyrics and soulful tunes, she seems to have hit the right mark once again.’
    • ‘So far, the Democrats seem to have hit all their marks.’
    • ‘The emphasis on hitting your marks was not nearly as pronounced.’
    • ‘As she develops she should be able to reach out and grab an object, even though she often misses the mark on the first try.’
    • ‘Someone's attempt at a clever analogy perhaps; it rather missed the mark.’
    • ‘The writing is clever, witty, crisp, Arquette is very good, and the whole production is bright and hits all the right marks.’
    • ‘They may very well have this evidence, but everything that's being leaked right now is kind of missing the mark.’
    • ‘Whichever way you look at it, the scheme was misconceived, miscalculated and entirely missed the mark.’
    • ‘She threw the last knife she was holding at the target in frustration, not hitting far off from the target mark.’
    • ‘However, it seems to be missing the mark, and I'd argue it is because of the way we purchase music currently.’
    • ‘As one arrow after the next misses its mark, all the boys immediately run for cover, but secret crushes soon rise to the surface.’
    • ‘This is where the current public policies around work-life balance seem to miss the mark.’
    • ‘As for post-1947, Ganguly hits all the major marks of the conflict and lucidly backs his theories up with carefully researched facts.’
    • ‘This makes it difficult to say when a particular quatrain has missed or hits its mark.’
    target, goal, aim, bullseye, objective, object, end, purpose, intent, intention
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    1. 5.1US informal A person who is easily deceived or taken advantage of.
      ‘they figure I'm an easy mark’
      • ‘She actually felt sorry for her; Scott was the worst person to work with when there was a major mark on the line.’
      • ‘She thereby revealed herself to be a patsy, a mark, a victim of the Big Con.’
      • ‘The American salesman, everyone concedes, is the American salesman's easiest mark.’
  • 6Rugby
    The act of cleanly catching the ball direct from a kick, knock-on, or forward throw by an opponent, on or behind one's own 22-metre line, and exclaiming ‘Mark’, after which a free kick can be taken by the catcher.

    • ‘This was followed by the referee then allowing a Tigers' player to interfere with Copeland taking a quick free-kick after a mark.’
    • ‘Dropped marks in the forward line proved costly for the Bears and when the whistle blew to mark the end of the final quarter, Albatross had won 11-6.’
    • ‘Free kicks and marks could be required to be taken as kicks, as the name suggests.’
    1. 6.1Australian Rules Football An act of catching a ball that has been kicked at least fifteen metres before it reaches the ground, or the spot from which the subsequent kick is taken.
      • ‘David Loats takes a strong mark in the forward line in front of a few Eagles' defenders.’


  • 1Make a visible impression or stain on.

    ‘he fingered the photograph gently, careful not to mark it’
    • ‘The latter is clearly marked with close-spaced lines where it has pressed against the gills of the immature cap.’
    • ‘She turned a corner and stopped before colliding into a little boy, face marked with tears.’
    • ‘Her gray dress was torn and dirty, marked more so by several spots of blood.’
    • ‘Angie woke up to dried tears in her eyes and her face marked by the carpet since she remained there all night without moving to her actual bed.’
    • ‘With a sharp instrument, mark the two holes indicated on the edge and the face of the door.’
    • ‘As we walked, we passed from grass and mud to stone-paved road, wet and dirty and marked with wheel tracks.’
    • ‘Around 10 flag stones, each around a metre square in size, had been taken from the site, leaving others broken and the steps marked and scratched.’
    • ‘They were faded, some stained by water from rain and a few marked by mud or beer.’
    • ‘I lingered on the bruise that marked most of his cheek.’
    discolour, stain, smear, smudge, streak, blotch, blot, blemish
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    1. 1.1[no object]Become stained.
      ‘they're made from a woven surface which doesn't mark or tear’
  • 2Write a word or symbol on (an object) in order to give information.

    ‘she marked all her possessions with her name’
    • ‘Seven columns in each ring have been marked with strange symbols, forming a huge seven-pointed star.’
    • ‘Any solution that only can be administered topically should be marked clearly with that information.’
    • ‘They have placed it in a sealed envelope marked private and confidential.’
    • ‘Anyone without a bank account can make a cash donation by placing it in an envelope marked Christmas Care and give it to reception at the Information Centre.’
    • ‘When all is said and done, this case file can be marked High School Confidential!’
    • ‘Written references should always be marked private personal and confidential and should be sent in a sealed envelope by post or courier.’
    • ‘These days most of them have to go in blue and red envelopes marked Par Avion.’
    put one's name on, name, initial, put one's seal on, label, tag, hallmark, watermark, brand, stamp, earmark
    indicate, label, flag, tab, tick, show the position of, show, identify, designate, delineate, denote
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    1. 2.1Write or draw (a word, symbol, line, etc.) on an object.
      ‘she marked the date down on a card’
      • ‘He turned his wrist over and revealed a series of code symbols marked on his arm.’
    2. 2.2Put a line by or through something written or printed to indicate that it has passed or been dealt with.
      ‘he marked off their names in a ledger’
      • ‘As we laboriously went through each box, we marked them off in our spreadsheet.’
      • ‘To pass the time he began to count, telling each one to lay down as he marked them off.’
      • ‘He simply took the little blue tardy notice and marked something off on his clip board.’
      • ‘We'd mark them off on a sheet displayed proudly on the refrigerator, until the sheet was filled and we'd read the required number of books to win the prize. I don't remember now what any of the prizes were.’
      • ‘The child marks the item off the list with help from his/her mother.’
      • ‘Make lists (daily/weekly) and mark things off as they're accomplished.’
      • ‘The receptionist looked them up and marked them off as present.’
      • ‘She unconsciously marked each day off on her desk calendar in her office.’
      • ‘The homeroom instructor, however, simply shrugged and marked her off.’
      • ‘Or you might keep a checklist of all your nighttime and morning tasks and have family members mark them off as each one is completed.’
      • ‘There she refers to a friend ‘who refuses to believe that committee work is just about marking items off an agenda.’’
      • ‘In fact, you can rip up the ballot if you want - all you need to do is go to the polling booth on election day and mark your name off the register.’
      • ‘I hadn't exactly been marking the days off between meetings but occasionally his handsome face had flitted through my thoughts.’
      • ‘As soon as they had all settled themselves well enough in it, the teacher began taking their names and marking them off on a list he had on a clipboard.’
  • 3Indicate the position of.

    ‘the top of the pass marks the border between Alaska and the Yukon’
    • ‘These sills mark areas at the coast where low relief makes it possible for a glacier to spread out and thus lose its erosional power.’
    • ‘We moored to the buoy that marks the Haven's position, and Gino put the decompression station in place.’
    • ‘Gaps themselves mark the areas of vulnerability and show the mechanism by which complexity flows through health care to individual patients.’
    • ‘The lamp, which would originally have been a gas lamp, marked a dividing line in the town.’
    • ‘It has marked the dividing line between North and South Korea ever since.’
    • ‘Under an azure sky at Almondvale, horizontal trenches marked the areas where undersoil heating was being installed.’
    • ‘In one part of the complex, crosses mark an area which has been designated as a graveyard.’
    • ‘The two people in question were driving their car out to Coney Island when they veered off the line of concrete markers which marks the route.’
    • ‘Two large stones also stand almost due east and west to mark the local equinoctial positions of the sun.’
    • ‘The position of each station will be marked by a cross.’
    1. 3.1Separate or delineate (a particular section or area)
      ‘you need to mark out the part of the garden where the sun lingers longest’
      • ‘The shorter man indicated the centre of the room which was currently marked off by cones and surrounded by a hoard of police.’
      • ‘Clam Bed Re-seeding Project: a section of the clam flats has been marked off as an experimental plot.’
      • ‘Shrubs or even a low planting can serve as a way to mark off these separate areas.’
      • ‘Arrowheads in B and C mark the zone of separation of the ectopic eye from the normal compound eye.’
      • ‘For example, it was decided to mark out the objective area by setting fire to four villages at its corners.’
      • ‘Use canes to mark out the areas and apply the poison evenly.’
      • ‘Use stakes to mark the areas so you can keep track of where you've planted and where you have yet to plant.’
      • ‘At times his enthusiasm got the better of him, to the point where he began to have a total disregard for the white lines which mark out the playing area.’
      • ‘The entire place had been marked off with police tape and closed to the public.’
      • ‘The regional authorities have already marked the approximate area where the plane might have crashed.’
      • ‘However, some have been laid out in the traditional fashion with a border marking the area in front of the headstone.’
      • ‘This includes the installation of meters, marking out spaces and signage.’
      • ‘Barbed wire separates the houses from a caravan park on one side, and a tall steel perimeter fence clearly marks the area as separate from the rest of the street.’
      • ‘A low fence of split bamboo marked off an inside area the width of a boxing ring and twice as long.’
      • ‘A portion of the road around the stadium is used as the skating rink and the area is marked using flags so that others do not enter the area.’
      • ‘There must be hundreds, thousands, of huts being erected here, on 12 by 15 plots that have been marked and staked out.’
      • ‘A table of contents that did not require scrolling and which marked off completed sections would also have been nice.’
      • ‘It is the intention of the Parish Committee to mark out areas in the new and old burial grounds, which will be available for new plots to be taken.’
      delineate, outline, delimit, demarcate, measure out, mark the boundaries of, mark the limits of, mark off, define, describe, stake out
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    2. 3.2(of a particular quality or feature) distinguish (someone or something) from other people or things.
      ‘his sword marked him out as an officer’
      • ‘It doesn't make you part of a family, hanging out in the Apple store marks you out as a computer geek, not a trendsetter.’
      • ‘Good distribution allied with his pace and defensive qualities mark him out as a fine prospect.’
      set apart, separate, single out, differentiate, distinguish
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    3. 3.3Select or destine someone for (a particular role or fate)
      ‘the solicitor general marked him out for government office’
      • ‘Because Owen contains this hidden Keatsian poet he is marked out for suffering and an early death.’
      • ‘His life before entering the Commons hardly marks him out for the most challenging ministerial brief of the next decade.’
      • ‘His Jewish descent and left-leaning political views are thought to have marked him out for targeting by the right.’
      • ‘That achievement marked him out for a leading role when Labour returned to power and his first Cabinet post was the major appointment of Foreign Secretary.’
      • ‘If you could be confident of one thing yesterday, it was that he would have a marginal impact against opponents who had marked him out for special attention.’
      • ‘In person, he was a grey, neat, unremarkable little man, quite lacking the sort of dash or colour which might mark him out for high drama.’
      • ‘His staff are afraid to venture into remote areas, and have mostly abandoned a fleet of grey Russian jeeps, which the UN has as transport but which they say only marks them out for attack.’
      • ‘It was not only that he scored a magnificent goal and a crucial point near the end but it was his over all leadership that marked him out for the TG4 Man of the Match award.’
      • ‘It is his difference from societal norms, not his choices, which mark him out for his eventual tragic fate.’
      • ‘Those experiences marked him out for a teaching career, upon which he may have embarked.’
      • ‘He only began his writings at the age of 52 and his ranting style of delivery, often on street corners to a puzzled audience, marked him out for a lifetime of ridicule and poverty.’
      • ‘His character, particularly his greed, hardly marks him out for special attention.’
      • ‘My parents were also older, which marked me out for bullying, both physical and verbal.’
      • ‘What marks Lavigne out for success, however, is the street cred she carries with her straight out of the skate park.’
      • ‘But there was something in the quality of her voice that marked her out for a different musical path.’
      • ‘Yet it is not his ability that marks him out for many, but his admitted use of a banned drug as part of his fight to defeat cancer’
      • ‘His ruthless and fanatical belief in violence not only set him apart from the responsible leaders of the civil rights movement - it also marked him out for notoriety and a violent end.’
      destine, ordain, predestine, preordain
      View synonyms
    4. 3.4Judge someone to be (a particular type of person)
      ‘she had marked him down as a dangerous liberal’
      • ‘If that's being a do-gooder, then mark me down as a proud one.’
      • ‘He may know nothing about Rangers, but they will already know enough about him to mark him down as a serious threat.’
      • ‘The police obviously marked me down as a criminal because next time I was at a French auction I was surrounded by gun-toting gendarmes who arrested me again.’
      • ‘An old school report marked Clary down as ‘languid and superior’.’
      • ‘Confounding those who had marked him down as a Eurosceptic, he declared: ‘I believe in Europe as a political project.’’
      • ‘I gave my usual response, which is to smile politely and shake my head in an I-dooon't-think-so kinda way, whilst wondering, since I wasn't smoking at the time, how she'd marked me down as a smoker.’
      • ‘I hated playing musical scales and those stupid nursery rhymes set to music that piano students had to play, but I guess Dad marked me down as a loser in music, too.’
      • ‘They were both dressed so that it was easy to mark them down as gypsy kin, their faded but bright clothes easy to spot amongst the normal gray drab of the peasants.’
      • ‘If this sort of scheduling - off days in mid-series and two-game series - is the result of Interleague Play, then mark me down as a baseball purist.’
      • ‘The Austrian authorities soon marked him down as a troublemaker as he encouraged trade unions and attacked the Catholic Church.’
      • ‘Collapsing with a fit of the jitters, she was marked down as a choker, not to be bothered with.’
      • ‘Whatever else happens at these world championships, Paris will be marked down as notable the moment that Haile Gebrselassie toes the start-line for the 10,000-metres final in the Stade de France tonight.’
      • ‘Despite her lack of years and inches, Wood has been marked down as the Next Big Thing in Scottish curling for several years.’
      • ‘The promoter, who also officiates on the junior grasstrack scene, spotted Complin several years ago and marked him down as one for the future.’
      • ‘He was no longer just a gifted midfield player at the biggest club in the land - he was marked down as a player of immense potential, one on whom much of the international team's future success could be fashioned and shaped.’
      • ‘She says she has no idea why the officer marked her down as owner being same as driver.’
      • ‘In the reviews section, the very similar Joss Stone is marked down as ‘an artist in it for the long haul.’’
      • ‘Cohen has little time for these critics, marking them down as unable to appreciate what Churchill's leadership really meant and too ready to discount the value of his ability to inspire and take charge.’
      • ‘I look forward to a time when I can serve my country without wondering if history will mark me down as a participant in something disgraceful.’
      • ‘Even if it helps me in the hunt, I don't like someone marking me down as an easy target, especially when he's wearing a bullseye himself and doesn't know it.’
    5. 3.5Acknowledge or celebrate (an important event) with a particular action.
      ‘to mark its fiftieth birthday the charity held a fashion show’
      • ‘The bravery and resourcefulness of British prisoners of war will be celebrated in an exhibition marking the 60th anniversary of the Great Escape.’
      • ‘I'll ask him why he's boycotting tomorrow's anniversary celebration in Moscow marking the end of World War Two.’
      • ‘The week beginning July 8 would be marked by a flag ceremony.’
      • ‘It was all of 21 years since the team had won the Mayo and Connacht honours and some members felt the time to hold a celebration to mark the event.’
      • ‘This ceremony is supposed to mark an important event in the life of the eunuchs, when they realise their dream of marrying for once.’
      • ‘A presentation was made to both earlier this year to mark the 50th anniversary of their position.’
      • ‘The event also marked the beginning of Pattaya's St. Valentine's Day celebrations.’
      • ‘This ritual together with tonight's celebrations are all that mark an event which has now become pretty meaningless to British society.’
      • ‘It was the highlight of a series of events held last week to mark the beginning of six months of celebrations to marks the Quakers' important anniversary.’
      • ‘A church celebrating its 50th anniversary is to mark the occasion with two special events.’
      • ‘The celebrations marking the end of the ‘Great Patriotic War’ are underway in Moscow.’
      • ‘The finished design marks the 400th anniversary of the 1605 gunpowder plot, led by infamous York son Guy Fawkes.’
      • ‘The celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the event have been unprecedented in scope.’
      • ‘Graduation from high school and from college are seen as important events that mark the beginning of adulthood.’
      • ‘Plans are being formulated to hold a celebration event to mark the 10th anniversary of the club next April.’
      • ‘And when they came to the end of their trek their achievement was marked with celebrations.’
      • ‘Celebrations to mark the big event were on a grand scale and went on for three nights.’
      • ‘Four generations of the Salt family gathered in a building constructed by their ancestor to mark a festival celebrating Sir Titus Salt.’
      • ‘Friends of Reuben was formed last February 23 and they will hold a celebration to mark its achievements on its first anniversary next week.’
      • ‘The good weather added to the spectacle and everyone involved should be very proud of the celebrations to mark the Feast Day of our Patron Saint.’
      celebrate, observe, recognize, acknowledge, keep, honour, solemnize, pay tribute to, salute, commemorate, remember, memorialize
      View synonyms
    6. 3.6Be an indication of (a significant event or stage)
      ‘a series of incidents which marked a new phase in the terrorist campaign’
      • ‘The move marked a significant change in US policy and means that food aid can be used directly for military purposes.’
      • ‘That event surely marked the end of the world as we have known it.’
      • ‘This marks a significant increase on previous years, with some very serious incidents requiring hospitalisation.’
      • ‘This event marked a downfall of popularity for the hot air balloon, and an increase in popularity, ironically, in hydrogen.’
      • ‘There are some defining events in the life of a nation - events that mark a major change of direction.’
      • ‘The stage victory marked a reversal of fortunes for the 26-year-old who lost the prologue when his chain came off close to the finish.’
      • ‘This event marked the humble beginning of what would become the US Air Force.’
      • ‘The Japanese responded at once, and these events marked the true beginning of the Sino-Japanese war.’
      • ‘Because the unit can be traced over several tens of kilometres, we suggest it marks a sub-regionally significant event in the Emeishan Province as basalt production terminated.’
      • ‘Hartstein's decision marks a significant change in the direction of the company.’
      • ‘Ms McGreal said the event marked the end of the ‘talking phase’ for women in agriculture.’
      • ‘This event marked a major change in the temper of the civil rights movement.’
      • ‘For me, this event clearly marks the end of the happy, carefree years of my childhood.’
      • ‘Sleep researchers generally agree that Stage 1 marks the transition from waking to sleeping states.’
      • ‘The Supreme Court opens today, marking our full judicial independence from Britain.’
      • ‘If the Erskine scheme comes to pass, it will mark a significant change in fortunes for similar proposals.’
      • ‘The 1930s marked a significant change in the Soviet approach to retail trade.’
      • ‘The legislation marks a significant change in US policy and means that food aid can be used directly as a weapon of war.’
      • ‘While the figure was down on that for March, lending was 16% higher than in April 2005 and marks six months of record lending figures.’
      • ‘This event marked the start of the defeat of the reform movement.’
      represent, signify, be an indication of, be a sign of, indicate, herald
      View synonyms
    7. 3.7Characterize as having a particular quality or feature.
      ‘the reaction to these developments has been marked by a note of hysteria’
      • ‘The media had under-rated his dad, Barry felt, and his career has been marked by a ruthless determination to correct that historical injustice.’
      • ‘Her career had been marked by close defeats and valiant efforts.’
      • ‘Clough's early works are marked by a subdued palette of largely browns, greys and greens.’
      • ‘From lack of talent to utter indiscipline, the team has suffered on many fronts and the slide has been marked by a shocking indifference among the players.’
      • ‘Some critics discerned a falling away of powers in his later work, marked by a tendency towards inflated rhetoric, but to others he remained a commanding figure to the end.’
      • ‘Paddle is largely a doubles game, marked by rapid volleying at the net.’
      • ‘Both rider and vet would have been conscious of the risks they were taking so close to a games that was marked by a hunt for drug cheats.’
      • ‘Above all, he prepared mounts that were marked by meticulous attention to detail and precise labeling.’
      • ‘Dwelling as they did in clusters of local self-sufficiency, marked by a low standard of living, the people were ever threatened by famine.’
      • ‘A quarterback's first season with a team is almost always marked by struggles fitting in with his new offense.’
      • ‘Seemingly interminable rallies are marked by players pounding the ball at one another in games that go hours at a time.’
      • ‘In every case his works are marked by a high level of technical skill and surfaces of great animation.’
      • ‘But apart from a few minor concessions, her term in office has been marked by close collaboration with business.’
      • ‘So what does 2000 offer the mid-market fashion retail sector after another bleak Christmas marked by early sales notices?’
      • ‘Sargent's work is marked by its exceptional lucidity, its exactness of expression and by the decisiveness of her results.’
      • ‘His subsequent work was marked by an offbeat intensity.’
      characterize, distinguish, identify, typify, brand, signalize, stamp
      View synonyms
    8. 3.8British (of a clock or watch) show (a certain time)
      ‘his watch marked five past eight’
      • ‘Sure enough, as the clock marked 8.30 am, Neptune's special police arrived on the Bridge.’
      • ‘The next cut finds him waiting for the second hand on the clock to mark 5.00 pm and thus the banal end to his career.’
  • 4British (of a teacher or examiner) assess the standard of (written work) by assigning points for proficiency or correct answers.

    ‘the examiner may have hundreds of scripts to mark’
    • ‘She says the programme involved properly supported unit standards marked by trained teachers and assessed to the standard.’
    • ‘Without a tutor to mark your work, how will you know if you got it right?’
    • ‘It also says the initial measurement for seven-year-olds is unreliable as it is marked by teachers rather than external examiners.’
    • ‘One was assessing the candidate's driving, while the other was assessing the examiner's marking.’
    • ‘Exams in Scotland are supervised by non-teachers but the papers are marked by teachers.’
    • ‘He felt that having to sit and write an essay that the teacher would mark so that another tick could be put in another box was a waste of time and time was a precious commodity.’
    • ‘Miss Piper began to call out the answers as the whole class followed and marked their own work.’
    • ‘It needs to be well lit, warm, not too noisy and have a table - work is often marked for neatness and a steady surface helps with writing and drawing.’
    • ‘By the time I've finished seeing students, marking their work, preparing classes, doing the admin etc. etc. that more than doubles.’
    • ‘The examiner then marked it and explained why he had given the marks he had.’
    • ‘It's a very good point, which is why more and more academic work is marked by continuous assessment.’
    • ‘Throughout each term homework was set by the subject teacher to a timetable and at the end of term an exam was also set and marked by the same teacher.’
    • ‘The exam papers were marked by teachers and then sent to external moderators.’
    • ‘She suffered a series of literary knockbacks until her work was marked by an external examiner during a creative writing course.’
    • ‘We were encouraged to mark our own work by referring to the answer books that were always readily available.’
    • ‘At £15 per child, the mock will be fully supervised under exam conditions and papers will be marked anonymously.’
    • ‘They were not the ones who did first year Geo-morphology at nine o'clock on a Monday morning, or marked a hundred scripts in two days.’
    • ‘Next September teachers will be guaranteed time to plan, prepare and mark work as part of a national deal.’
    • ‘The establishment will be marking their assignments, writing their job references, and checking their credit ratings.’
    • ‘Work has been set for him and as far as I'm concerned it's being marked by teachers.’
    assess, evaluate, appraise, correct
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1Reduce the number of marks awarded to a person or their work.
      ‘teachers must mark down GCSE work containing poor grammar’
      • ‘In addition, Mid Yorkshire was marked down for not ensuring at least 98 per cent of patients with suspected cancer were seen within two weeks.’
      • ‘Even when made aware of bullying, Ofsted inspectors won't mark a school down for it now, either.’
      • ‘Like the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Lewisham has been marked down for missing its four-hour A&E waiting time target for 2004 / 5.’
      • ‘Asked why she felt she was marked down by the judges, she said: ‘You better ask them.’’
      • ‘Then he was marked down again for the shocking shiny suit he was wearing and ended up without very much going for him at all.’
      • ‘A Merit would suffice, heck even a Pass would do as I know she's going to mark me down anyway because I slacked big time on the photography bit, but that was a different unit.’
      • ‘Appraisal time is upon us, and all team leaders will have been instructed to find the slightest excuse to mark people down.’
      • ‘Upon hearing that he had been marked down for wandering, Levrone fumed, ‘I didn't know you could be marked down for walking offstage.’
  • 5Notice or pay careful attention to.

    ‘he'll leave you, you mark my words!’
    • ‘Marin didn't seem to notice, marking something on the paper in front of him.’
    take heed of, pay heed to, heed, listen to, take note of, take notice of, pay attention to, attend to, note, mind, bear in mind, give thought to, give a thought to, take into consideration, take to heart
    View synonyms
  • 6British (of a player in a team game) stay close to (an opponent) in order to prevent them getting or passing the ball.

    ‘each central defender marks one attacker’
    • ‘Harrogate were camped in their half for the entire game and despite marking Elliot Dowley ferociously were not able to match his pace and he put away a winner in the nick of time.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, ‘Is it too late to add Shaquille O'Neal to the squad to mark Koller?’’
    • ‘Since he would be closely marked by the opponents, other strikers would get more open space to play.’
    • ‘Silsden eventually came into the game but their front men, Hoyle and Hedges were tightly marked throughout the game and had to play much of the time with their backs to goal.’
    • ‘Players are marking better now than they have been since the seventies.’
    • ‘If he is assigned a player to mark throughout a game, it is almost guaranteed that that player will not have a large impact on the game.’
    • ‘Lorraine Pugh had her best performance in the game against Glynn as she was marking their best player Anne-Marie Moloney.’
    • ‘That means that the full-backs are tied, and the three central defenders are marking one striker.’
    1. 6.1Australian Rules Football Catch (the ball) from a kick of at least ten metres.
      ‘I did well at marking the ball’
      • ‘But in fact, it makes it almost impossible to see which player is marking the ball, as other players swarm around you.’
      • ‘Opening 52 Seconds: Bombers win the ball from the opening bounce and Lucas marks at centre half forward.’


  • be quick (or slow) off the mark

    • Be fast (or slow) in responding to a situation or understanding something.

      ‘he was quick off the mark with girls’
      • ‘They'll be glad they were quick off the mark because the practice has now been stopped by the director of New York's office of emergency management.’
      • ‘Of course being the day that it was, local papers were quick off the mark and Serena was asked to sign a consent form so that the hospital could give details of the birth to the press.’
      • ‘Ford, too, has been slow off the mark but is catching up fast after it recently licensed hybrid technology from Toyota, while also giving a bit of its own technology back.’
      • ‘Although Banbridge were quick off the mark with their scoring, the Burren boys were just as quick to get back into the game and soon took control for the remainder of the match.’
      • ‘Police were quick off the mark and they were here really fast.’
      • ‘So, as soon as he made a serious gaffe - as he did - they were quick off the mark to call for his ouster.’
      • ‘The Left has been slow off the mark in identifying the obvious American responsibility for that event.’
      • ‘Some filling stations in Galway were quick off the mark on Budget night when they immediately at 12 midnight increased the price as stipulated in the Budget.’
      • ‘The city's snow - clearing trucks were slow off the mark, leaving angry shopkeepers to shovel their pavements.’
      • ‘He and everybody else were slow off the mark as the terrorist threat emerged in the mid 90's.’
      alert, quick, quick-witted, bright, clever, perceptive, sharp, sharp-witted, observant, wide awake
      on the ball, on one's toes, quick on the uptake
      View synonyms
  • get off the mark

    • Get started.

      ‘he took an hour to get off the mark but finished with 101 runs’
      • ‘He will be approaching national companies in a bid to get some high-profile backing and has already got off the mark by selling his first perimeter board advert in his first week.’
  • leave its (or one's or a) mark

    • Have a lasting or significant effect.

      ‘he left his mark on English football’
      • ‘He penned pamphlets of protest, left his mark on Philadelphia's most significant free black institutions, and produced a moving spiritual autobiography.’
      • ‘Not all of us will get to do that, but you can with the self-assurance that you have indeed left your mark.’
      • ‘During the Cold War, it was the Russians who left their mark.’
      • ‘We must never forget the day when the terrorists left their mark of murder on our nation.’
      • ‘Few people have so left their mark upon the world.’
      • ‘The riots of a year ago, have however, left their mark.’
      • ‘Incursions into the country, successively by the Persians, Byzantines, Mongols and Turks are all said to have left their mark on the cuisine.’
      • ‘It wasn't a game for cowards, as some bone-crunching hits, and a mass brawl in a bad-tempered first-half, left their mark physically on both sets of players.’
      • ‘Today's Indian cuisine is certainly not exactly what it was thousands of years ago as invasions, migrations and travel have left their mark on the sub-continent.’
      • ‘Here are the three affairs that truly left their mark in history.’
  • make one's mark

    • Attain recognition or distinction.

      ‘it took four years of struggle before we managed to make our mark’
      • ‘In the ten years of this sale close on 3,000 heifers have been sold and it is evident by the number of repeat buyers that these heifers are clearly making their mark in the suckler herds of Ireland.’
      • ‘The BBC will televise the second day of competition, and Brewer underlined the importance of new prospects making their mark if financial patronage is to be restored.’
      • ‘Professionally, the 21-year-old Long Island native is already making her mark as one of the most distinctive character actors of her generation.’
      • ‘It is about the thousands of highly-qualified young people making their mark in responsible jobs in Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium and elsewhere across the EU.’
      • ‘I am not quite sure who to propose, but maybe there is someone out there who feels confident enough to list 10 women in contemporary graphic design currently making their mark.’
      • ‘First, his distinction is quite exceptional and we don't have to wait for it to be generally recognized that he has made his mark.’
      • ‘That women entrepreneurs and managers are making their mark in a world of men, even if recognition comes by way of separate women's awards.’
      • ‘It gives the illusion of doing something permanent, making your mark on the world.’
      • ‘In 1989, she was trying to make her mark as a singer in London but had succeeded only in eking out a living, playing tiny gigs and taking the odd bit-part acting job.’
      • ‘The range of soloists offers a blend of the experience of established performers for many years with the talent of some our finest young musicians who are now making their mark here and abroad.’
      be successful, distinguish oneself, succeed, gain success, be a success, prosper, get ahead, get on, make good, achieve recognition, attain distinction
      make it, make the grade, find a place in the sun
      View synonyms
  • one's mark

    • Something which is particularly typical of or suitable for someone.

      ‘‘I took you out.’ ‘To a motel! That's just about your mark!’’
  • mark time

    • 1(of troops) march on the spot without moving forward.

      • ‘I had them mark time and started them off marching down the trail that led to the football field.’
      • ‘Still, some steps are better than just marking time in place, right?’
      • ‘He blew his whistle, signaling for the band to mark time.’
      1. 1.1Pass one's time in routine activities until a more interesting opportunity presents itself.
        ‘we're all just marking time, waiting for Wednesday’
        • ‘‘I would mark time during ballet, jazz, and acrobatics and wait for tap,’ she says.’
        • ‘In the short term the markets are still nervous and will mark time until the outlook for the US becomes more certain.’
        • ‘The response confirmed to him that the crowd was enjoying what the augmented DJs were doing and there was no sense that everyone was just marking time until the headliners came on.’
        • ‘It's also probably bad news for developers, because they'll have to mark time until whenever ‘early’ is.’
        • ‘The secondary has to find out and the kids with a high-level D have to mark time until those without catch up.’
        • ‘But he's only marking time until he can return to New Orleans.’
        • ‘Black can't improve his position so he marks time.’
        • ‘Do you love what you're doing or are you just marking time until that record deal goes through?’
        • ‘It was as if they just wanted to mark time until the final whistle and take the win.’
        • ‘At her worst, Gilda comes off as a whinier Lucille Ball, and we mark time until the next skit.’
  • mark you

    • Used to emphasize a statement.

      ‘I was persuaded, against my better judgement, mark you, to vote for him’
      • ‘These are the same people, mark you, that would have bought every single song they downloaded if the alternative was to go without - according the the recording industry's claims for the impact of downloading, that is.’
      • ‘This, mark you, was his opinion at a time when the number of books published in the UK in a year was somewhere around 10% of today's figure.’
      • ‘This, mark you, is my first interview in six months.’
      • ‘Hitchens's article takes the form of a review of The John Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism; in its second edition, mark you, so the thing must be a really hot seller.’
      • ‘And all this, mark you, before a date for the general election has even been set.’
      • ‘Yet we expect officials to train themselves, prepare themselves and make the important decisions week in and week out for #310 a game - and that, mark you, is for the top referees.’
      • ‘Not, mark you, setting out to prove there is none, but determined to prove that there is.’
      • ‘And this, mark you, in a business which is largely based in London.’
      • ‘I suppose if I were to take a full time teaching post then I could have a nice hefty mortgage and afford a house of decent proportions… not on the salary, mark you, but on the combination of salary and equity from this house.’
      • ‘This statement, mark you, is made by a man who is described at the foot of the article as the Washington Post's book critic.’
  • near (or close) to the mark

    • Almost accurate.

      ‘to say he was their legal adviser would be nearer the mark’
      • ‘Well, today's New York Times adds some new information that makes it look like Clinton was pretty close to the mark.’
      • ‘The anti-Communist series is still pretty close to the mark.’
      • ‘Caddell is not alone among the anti-Bush who acknowledge that some Bush attacks are uncomfortably close to the mark.’
      • ‘My Landlord was fine about it surprisingly - which makes me think my earlier suspicion of him wanting us all out anyhow is close to the mark.’
      • ‘Even allowing for a little poetic license, this statement is perhaps close to the mark.’
      • ‘Mr Sheridan said claims indicate their initial estimates that close to £4m will be required to compensate investors will be very close to the mark.’
      • ‘This is an overly simplified explanation, but very close to the mark nonetheless.’
      • ‘Although descriptions of Clarke as the ‘next Waugh’ appeared trite, they are starting to look eerily close to the mark.’
      • ‘What these numbskulls in power call Christianity doesn't even come close to the mark.’
      • ‘That is putting it pretty strongly, and there are admirable exceptions, but it is embarrassingly close to the mark.’
  • off (or wide of) the mark

    • 1A long way from an intended target.

      ‘most of his shots went wide of the mark’
      inaccurate, incorrect, wrong, erroneous, inexact, off-target, off-beam, out, fallacious, mistaken, misguided, misinformed
      off target, off the mark, wide of the mark, wide of the target, inaccurate, off course, astray, nowhere near, out
      off target, wide of the mark, wide, awry
      View synonyms
    • 2Incorrect or inaccurate.

      ‘past demographic projections have been way off the mark’
      • ‘I think claims that there's too much oil out there today are just simply off the mark.’
      • ‘But in seeing such engagements as determining our future development, they are way off the mark.’
      • ‘He was disturbed himself at the result of a report that was so far off the mark.’
      • ‘He also indulged in a bit of illicit breaking and entering, but most true professionals reckon he was way off the mark.’
      • ‘It appears that the invasion scares promoted by publications over the last few years were not completely off the mark.’
      • ‘When the US State Department issued its damning report, again he was late and off the mark.’
      • ‘The analogy with a Chelsea footballer or a classical pianist is completely off the mark.’
      • ‘Readers are welcome to put me in my place and show me that I'm completely off the mark!’
      • ‘Hamas may have won the Palestinian elections, but Western predictions of war and bloodshed are wide off the mark.’
      • ‘The Atkins diet may turn out to be completely off the mark, but it shouldn't be dismissed yet.’
      inaccurate, incorrect, wrong, erroneous, inexact, off-target, off-beam, out, fallacious, mistaken, misguided, misinformed
      irrelevant, inapplicable, inapposite, inappropriate, inapt, immaterial, not to the point, beside the point, off the subject, extraneous, neither here nor there
      off target, off the mark, wide of the mark, wide of the target, inaccurate, off course, astray, nowhere near, out
      View synonyms
  • of mark

    • dated Having importance or distinction.

      ‘he had been a man of mark’
      • ‘In 1607 he was apprenticed to his uncle Sir William Herrick, goldsmith, a man of mark who was MP for Leicester, owned land in 13 counties, and had been knighted in 1605.’
      • ‘There was also the prospect of becoming a man of mark back home when the volunteer's term was up.’
  • on the mark

    • Correct; accurate.

      ‘his forecast for the weekend is right on the mark’
      • ‘I'd check back occasionally, and Jonas would always be on the mark with whatever analysis or discussion he was having.’
      • ‘Your comments on illegal immigration were right on the mark and very brave.’
      • ‘He is certainly on the mark with such judgments, but he might have made them with more humor and less earnestness.’
      • ‘Obviously, only one of the myriad of warnings he received throughout his four years in office was on the mark.’
      • ‘But his political analysis was on the mark, even if he falls short of the presidency.’
      • ‘In a call for ‘appropriate content’ for an audience, it sounds like this is on the mark.’
      • ‘Am I on the mark in thinking of you as mainly a political stirrer?’
      • ‘Stalin was on the mark in saying that ‘one death is a milestone, a million is a statistic’.’
      • ‘That said, I voted for John Edwards because I'm a bit of a contrarian and because I think he's on the mark when he talks about two Americas.’
      • ‘Some of these items are trivial or irrelevant, but many are on the mark.’
      factual, fact-based, literal, correct, faithful, exact, close, true, truthful, veracious, true to life, telling it like it is, as it really happened, lifelike, authentic, realistic, fair
      well aimed, precise, on target, unerring, deadly, lethal, sure, true, on the mark, careful, meticulous, painstaking, precision
      View synonyms
  • on your marks

    • Used to instruct competitors in a race to prepare themselves in the correct starting position.

  • up to the mark

    • 1Up to the required standard.

      ‘concern has been growing that economic forecasts are not up to the mark’
      • ‘Even so, the TV audio quality was not up to the mark.’
      • ‘If quality was not up to the mark, it was taken away.’
      • ‘Inadequacy in bowling was another, the side's batting was not up to the mark and the team did not possess a quality all-rounder either.’
      • ‘About half the Irish food businesses applying for a hygiene excellence scheme are not up to the mark.’
      • ‘Quality of the recording was not up to the mark as well.’
      • ‘It provides full wireless connectivity, easy synchronization with other wireless devices, high performance, up to the mark video and audio quality.’
      • ‘Good firms tend to have demanding customers, which stands to reason: picky customers keep you up to the mark by requiring value for money and telling you if you don't give it.’
      • ‘He held several senior positions at the infirmary, notably chairman of a committee which makes sure clinical standards are up to the mark.’
      • ‘However, with mediapersons carrying video and digital cameras, the quality of transmission was not up to the mark.’
      • ‘So, yes, the DVD content is well worth your attention, but is Artisan's presentation up to the mark?’
      good enough, up to scratch, up to standard, up to par, satisfactory, acceptable, adequate, passable, sufficient, competent, all right
      ok, up to snuff
      required standard, standard, norm, par, level, criterion, gauge, yardstick, rule, measure, scale
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1[usually with negative](of a person) as healthy or as cheerful as usual.
        ‘Johnny's not feeling up to the mark at the moment’

Phrasal Verbs

  • mark something down

    • (of a retailer) reduce the indicated price of an item.

      ‘ties are marked down by at least 25 per cent’
      • ‘But remember the old rule, ‘he who shops best haggles the most’, so just bargain till the prices are marked down to suit your budget.’
      • ‘I later notice that it has been marked down several times, indicating that nobody in this whole community knows what a Frette sheet is.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, in America, we just put water in bottles with shiny stamps, mark the price up a thousand percent or more, advertise the hell out of the product, and consumers guzzle it down.’
      • ‘Bargain-hunters head downstairs to Filene's Basement, where items are marked down by 25% after 14 days, 50% after 21 days and 75% after 28 days.’
      • ‘A survey by the Daily Mail revealed that apples in the superstores were marked up by as much as 198 per cent, while eggs commanded prices up to 439 per cent higher than were paid to the farmers.’
      • ‘In addition to what Tom says, purely observationally, you walk into Iceland or a variety of other shops and there are always two for one deals on freezer food while fresh vegetables are marked up.’
      • ‘The regular price was $180 and they were marked down to $49.’
      • ‘It has also led to spot shortages of fuel in the economically busiest areas of China, according to the China Securities News, with black-market speculators marking prices up 30% above levels set by the state-controlled pricing system.’
      • ‘All I am getting is a couple more horrible sweets and they have clearly factored such thefts into their prices and marked them up by about 10,000%.’
      • ‘If a broker sells a municipal bond to a customer from the firm's own portfolio, for example, he or she need not tell the customer how much its price was marked up.’
      • ‘Police opened the investigation following reports from several employees who said that the land price had been marked up to conceal the presence of the remaining funds.’
      • ‘Steel prices had been marked up by a handful of producers in view of the rising exports to China and a few other countries.’
      • ‘The price of blatberries had been marked down again at Mumlat's Market.’
      • ‘Anyway, prices were marked down to fifty, even seventy percent, and I got carried away and bought stuff, too.’
      • ‘If the suit does not fit perfectly, do not buy it, even if it is marked down for a large discount.’
      • ‘However, staff predicted that the rush would start on Christmas Eve when a number of selected items would be marked down for their sale.’
      • ‘That was probably a $10 bottle of wine and they marked it up $30.’
      lower the price of, make cheaper, sell at a giveaway price, put in a sale
      reduce, decrease, lower, cut, put down, take down, discount
      View synonyms
  • mark something up

    • 1(of a retailer) increase the indicated price of an item.

      ‘he marks up prized garments by at least 50 per cent’
      increase, raise, up, put up, escalate
      View synonyms
    • 2Annotate or correct text for printing, keying, or typesetting.

      ‘they retyped the articles after the subeditors had marked them up in pencil’
      • ‘I was not in a position to mark it up or to start working on it because I had to check it for correctness.’
      • ‘Previously, Eminent sent 150-to 500-page study-protocol documents to participating physicians and regulators, who marked them up and mailed them back.’
      • ‘If you needed a brochure, you'd type it on a typewriter, and then literally mark it up with a red pen to tell the typesetter what you wanted it to look like.’
      • ‘I can make the addresses and so on machine readable, I just need to know how to mark them up.’
      • ‘I had remembered to bring my copy, but I had already marked it up with all the comments I was going to make during the talk.’
      • ‘This new capability will eliminate the need to communicate changes by printing out a copy, marking it up, and faxing it back.’
      • ‘And he would put in time reading your stuff and marking it up and making comments on it and so on, which was very useful.’
      • ‘In the mid '70s, I got involved on the tail end of a really sexy project in publishing, creating a system that allowed editors to take text and mark it up on screen.’
      • ‘These files would be mostly text files, but they would be marked up with a tag language (a subset of SGML called Hypertext Markup language, or HTML).’
      • ‘The contents of the file can be marked up, such as adding color around words.’
      • ‘Everyone works with a single document, marking it up with their personal highlighting, notes, and edits.’
      • ‘By the time the copy editor got back, marked it up, and sent it down to the subs, it was 10 pm.’
      • ‘In addition, a copy of the draft lease was marked up with the proposed changes and returned to the hotel.’
      annotate, correct, label
      View synonyms


Old English mearc, gemerce (noun), mearcian (verb), of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Latin margo margin.




Main definitions of mark in English

: mark1mark2



  • 1(until the introduction of the euro in 2002) the basic monetary unit of Germany, equal to 100 pfennig; a Deutschmark.

    ‘Germany spent billions of marks to save the French franc from speculators’
    • ‘When he called the next day, he said he was faxing Leeds an offer of a million marks.’
    • ‘Some 1 billion marks will be used to build a plant for the manufacture of synthetic materials in Shanghai.’
    • ‘The German mark was introduced as a parallel currency to the Yugoslav dinar and then the euro.’
    • ‘She lived through the terrible poverty of the Weimar years, when the price of a loaf of bread soared to more than 50 million marks.’
    • ‘Two billion German marks have been invested in the area's shipbuilding but the figures still show South Korea forging ahead.’
    • ‘Some 7.5 billion of German marks are frozen in state banks.’
    • ‘Braeutigam called on lawyers to forego part of their 125 million marks in fees to help pay the additional compensation.’
    • ‘In the same survey, of 100 goods that were checked, an incredible 86 per cent of them had increased in price when moving from marks to euros.’
    • ‘The plan aims to implement cuts of 30 billion German marks, about 50 percent of which is to be raised by attacks on pensioners and unemployed.’
    • ‘The avowed aim of the Treasury is to reduce new debt from the present 50 billion German marks to zero by the year 2006.’
    • ‘The euro, which replaces the old francs, marks, guilders, pesetas, escudos, drachmas, and lire of the European Union, is not yet five years old.’
    • ‘Moreover, the budget was burdened annually to the tune of over 10 billion German marks by the war against the Kurds.’
    • ‘Brahms continued to mobilise support for him, and himself paid him an allowance of some thousand marks a year, while doing his best to remain an anonymous donor.’
    • ‘Thankfully, for 5.3 million marks, you can buy a hell of a lot of visual thunder, which is why you should see this movie in the first place.’
    • ‘A billion marks are to be saved annually through the sale of equipment, vehicles, land and buildings.’
    • ‘One of the reasons is that there were three different currencies in use in Germany during the war - the thaler, the mark and the gulden.’
    • ‘That means the debt is likely to rise to 80 billion marks… It's way too high.’
    • ‘Now that protection from future legal actions is in place, the 1.8 billion marks still missing from German business will probably trickle in.’
    • ‘The resort obviously is geared for the overseas market and while prices won't make a huge dent in sterling, marks, euros or yen, in rand terms they might appear expensive.’
    • ‘This in turn is equal to 1.95583 German marks, or 6.55957 French francs, or 166.386 Spanish pesetas, and so on.’
  • 2A former English and Scottish money of account, equal to thirteen shillings and four pence in the currency of the day.

    ‘Sir William left 500 marks for repairing the road to Cambridge’
    • ‘Mrs Burdett was to be paid in marks, which is an archaic form of English currency (20 marks was quite a generous amount).’
    • ‘In 1189 King William had taken advantage of Richard's financial needs to buy his freedom from English allegiance for 10,000 marks.’
    1. 2.1A denomination of weight for gold and silver, formerly used throughout western Europe and typically equal to 8 ounces (226.8 grams).
      • ‘My prices vary, but most are around fifty gold marks.’
      • ‘Inside there were about two hundred gold marks.’
      • ‘Russia was also obliged to pay 6 billion gold marks in reparations.’
      • ‘If that lord fails to do this, that lord must pay me 46 marks of silver.’
      • ‘He produces a silver mark from his purse and holds it up for the man to see.’
  • 3The basic monetary unit of Bosnia and Herzegovina, equal to 100 fening.

    • ‘When the new government took over, they issued a new currency, the Bosnian Convertible Marka, and tied it to the German Mark.’
    • ‘It is not fair that such cuts apply equally to veterans with compensation for their wartime service of only 250 Bosnian marka ($177/month).’


Old English marc, from Old Norse mǫrk; probably related to mark.