Main definitions of mark in English

: mark1mark2



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

    ‘the blow left a red mark down one side of her face’
    • ‘Looking up, she saw several holes dotted along its surface, burned scorch marks surrounding the edges.’
    • ‘This hypothesis well explains why even the same cave has different patterns of calving and different chisel marks.’
    • ‘He was left with puncture marks and a severe gash on his nose and severe damage to his top lip.’
    • ‘Oh boy… did I do a lot of damage… his whole face was either covered in red marks or a bruise.’
    • ‘No tool marks survive on the surface of the boat as a result of repeated scourings by wind, sand and water.’
    • ‘Grain is present throughout the feature as well as lots of dirt, reel marks, and scratches.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘I must warn you though that your wheels will leave marks on the surface you're sliding on.’
    • ‘Improvements in the technology behind its production mean that many papers are now more resistant to grubby marks and other damage.’
    • ‘The bullet holes and blood seem even more disturbing when they are left as white marks on a dark surface.’
    • ‘William sat back, sulking at the red mark on the side of his cheek.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The yellow sponged raked over the arm viciously causing a deep red scuff marks to surface.’
    • ‘I also noticed tire marks in dirt on the right side of the road.’
    • ‘The films are not well preserved, so there are plenty of scratches and burn marks, and dirt on the prints.’
    • ‘Splotched with marks of dirt and even blood, it looked filthy and gave her a conscious feeling of someone living in the gutters.’
    • ‘Always carefully check goods in the shop for damage, tears or marks, particularly if the item is in a sale.’
    • ‘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?’
    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.’
      • ‘Even identifying marks will now be included on that state's register.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2A line, figure, or symbol made as an indication or record of something.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Google ignores most punctuation, except apostrophes, hyphens and quote marks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although most of the headstones are severely weathered and illegible, cemetery staff will record all legible marks and inscriptions before removing the stones.’
    • ‘Line the mark on your stock up with the doweling jig that corresponds to the size of the dowel you are using.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Bach, of course, left very few indications or interpretive marks as to how his music should go.’
    • ‘Here are some useful sites for anyone needing to display diacritical marks, mathematical symbols, etc.’
    • ‘Accented and umlauted vowels, and diacritical marks on consonants must be avoided, because they act as roadblocks and break the speed of a typist.’
    • ‘At the same time, line up the center marks on the template with your center axis mark on the ski.’
    • ‘This section measures knowledge of spelling rules and stress marks in Spanish.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was a confusing mass of symbols and half-familiar 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.’
    • ‘As these marks are studied and recorded they can be of great assistance with accurate dating, particularly where company records still exist.’
    • ‘The mark looked like the symbol for life that the mystics had created years ago.’
    symbol, sign, character
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    1. 2.1A written symbol made on a document in place of a signature by someone who cannot write.
      signature, autograph, cross, x, scribble, squiggle, initials, imprint
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2A level or stage that is considered significant.
      ‘unemployment had passed the two million mark’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Presumably she judged that once the death toll passed the quarter million mark, it became fair game for a bit of a snicker.’
      • ‘This would see them hit the crucial five million mark.’
      • ‘Information technology has passed the million mark - and it's a statistic the sector is far from happy with.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire did a little better but failed to top the million viewer 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.’
      • ‘The trio made their initial attack at the 22 km mark and at one stage pulled out a 5m 20s advantage.’
      • ‘Richard Virenque takes the third climb at the halfway mark of the stage.’
      • ‘The million mark is actually quite an achievement.’
      • ‘The day's only climb, a fourth category rise over the Cote de Boutancourt, comes early in the stage at the 8.5km mark.’
      • ‘Today sales are steering towards the three-quarters of a million mark.’
      • ‘Worldwide, estimates top the one trillion mark - almost two million a minute.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The million mark for private cars was reached in Britain in 1930, with 10 million by 1967.’
      • ‘Botero was part of a group of seven which made a decisive break shortly after the 80 km mark of the stage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We reached the mark of one million visitors just a few moments ago.’
      • ‘Manchester Airport is back on course to break the 20 million passengers-a-year mark for the first time.’
      • ‘This album, at worst, is going to take me over the 40 million quid mark.’
      point, level, stage, degree
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    3. 2.3A sign or indication of a quality or feeling.
      ‘the flag was at half-mast as a mark of respect’
      • ‘The wonderful guard of honour formed by both these groups was a fitting mark of respect and was well deserved.’
      • ‘Marching is a mark of respect, especially to those who gave their lives.’
      • ‘Corus corporate flags at plants across Britain and Europe are flying at half mast as a mark of respect.’
      • ‘The rehabilitation of the bridges and roads should be a mark of quality for lengthy life of the facilities.’
      • ‘But a raid of her house and seizure of her property is the mark of an out of control incipient police state.’
      • ‘An impressed stamp on the blade tang is usually the mark of a lower quality blade.’
      • ‘As a mark of respect all club activities have been cancelled this weekend.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Somehow, the brand of the magazine becomes the mark of quality rather than the individual work in it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As a mark of respect and in order to allow students to attend the service, all lectures and classes in Italian were cancelled.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘WiFi in airport departure lines is the mark of civilised countries.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So the fact that this building is expensive is a mark of its quality.’
      • ‘Both sides of the crossing were covered with flowers by mourners, who left bouquets and countless soft toys as a mark of respect.’
      sign, token, symbol, indication, badge, emblem, symptom, feature, evidence, proof, clue, hint
      characteristic, feature, trait, attribute, quality, hallmark, badge, stamp, property, peculiarity, indicator
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    4. 2.4A characteristic property or feature.
      ‘it is the mark of a civilized society to treat its elderly members well’
    5. 2.5A competitor's starting point in a race.
      • ‘The runners now toed this mark, each competitor leaning forward with his eye on the farther end of the platform.’
      • ‘The handicapper's job is to make the race as competitive as possible by giving each competitor a mark off which to run.’
      • ‘He might have obtained better results simply by taking the differences in the lanes' staggered starting marks for an appropriate track event.’
      • ‘He pocketed the penultimate race even after having to re-round the starting mark as he had jumped the start.’
    6. 2.6Nautical A piece of material or a knot used to indicate a depth on a sounding line.
    7. 2.7Telecommunications One of two possible states of a signal in certain systems.
      The opposite of space
  • 3A 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Government proposals could mean pupils who can't spell lose marks in GCSE and A level exams.’
    • ‘Students are awarded marks out of seven for each paper, and get a final overall score.’
    • ‘Although the paper is 80 marks / answer all questions, there is some consolation in that several questions are perennial.’
    • ‘Stats and Maths papers were structured with 120 possible marks.’
    • ‘A lot of marks are lost because people misread the questions.’
    • ‘It is possible to discourage guessing by allocating one mark for a correct answer and minus one for an incorrect answer.’
    • ‘It is surely also the case that some students lose a few marks here and there because of this.’
    • ‘Again, students would write a report on completion of an assignment, marks being gained as before.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Extra marks are awarded for neatness, good spelling and strict adherence to the curriculum.’
    • ‘For 45 marks, he was asked to ‘write an essay of about 40 lines on the advantages of a cheerful disposition’.’
    • ‘They got to a tie-breaker for third position, but were unfortunate to lose by a mark.’
    • ‘I know of a professor who was in the habit of deducting marks in examinations for bad spelling, poor grammar or clumsy sentences.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You're not going to get negative marks for writing down something wrong, nor will marks be deducted from another question.’
    • ‘There will be no marks awarded for the answer ‘They both write historical fantasy’.’
    • ‘The eleven marks were lost despite the village being cleaned up every morning of the week.’
    1. 3.1A figure or letter representing the total correct answers in an examination and signifying a person's score.
      ‘the highest mark was 98 percent’
      • ‘The problems in the evaluation system is not limited to the disparity in marks between different universities.’
      • ‘This led to a broader approach to teaching programmes and abolished the link between Proficiency marks and secondary education.’
      • ‘Other Hampshire schools and colleges were toasting record marks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A student gets to prepare his own report card, adding explanatory paragraphs that put the best possible spin on his marks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In other words, essays attributed to children with popular names were given higher marks than essays purportedly written by children with unusual names.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These are some of the terms used to describe children unable to learn or more importantly who score poor marks in their examinations.’
      • ‘Last summer there were around 52,000 protests against A-level marks, of which about 10% resulted in an overall grade change.’
      • ‘She usually stressed about her academic marks when she wasn't depressed and morbid.’
      • ‘We can all see that schooling has grown to mean exams, marks, stress, and tension for the parents, tuitions.’
      • ‘At the end of the course of study, candidates receive a mark from one to seven in each subject.’
      • ‘He awarded marks ranging from six to ten, with his six favourites all receiving the ten mark.’
      • ‘This comprises writing comments for sight, colour, nose and palate of each drink, and then awarding a mark out of ten.’
      • ‘This summer she received 4 grade As at A-level, achieving top marks in several papers.’
      • ‘Researchers discovered that different academics gave different marks for the same essays.’
      grade, grading, rating, score, percentage
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    2. 3.2(especially in track and field) a time or distance achieved by a competitor, especially one which represents a record or personal best.
      • ‘He also helped set three relay world records and lowered his own mark in the 400 freestyle.’
      • ‘She set a British under-20 indoor pentathlon record, bettering the marks of two who would become Olympic champions, Denise Lewis and Sally Gunnell.’
      • ‘But her marks are in the record books and appear set to stay there for a good while longer yet.’
      • ‘Thorpe is the current Olympic and triple world champion in the 400 meters and holds three world marks in freestyle distances.’
      • ‘In these she recorded marks of 12. 53s and 1. 51m to put her in an overall 14th place.’
      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, machine, or device.

    ‘a Mark 10 Jaguar’
  • 5A target.

    ‘few bullets could have missed their mark’
    • ‘They may very well have this evidence, but everything that's being leaked right now is kind of missing 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.’
    • ‘The emphasis on hitting your marks was not nearly as pronounced.’
    • ‘So far, the Democrats seem to have hit all their marks.’
    • ‘I'm always hitting marks, and saying the jokes, and having a good time.’
    • ‘Whichever way you look at it, the scheme was misconceived, miscalculated and entirely missed the mark.’
    • ‘I think his answer is - or I should say, proposal, if indeed we can call it that, misses the mark.’
    • ‘Some right-winger attempting to be ironic, some points hit a mark, some are hateful and off target.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The writing is clever, witty, crisp, Arquette is very good, and the whole production is bright and hits all the right marks.’
    • ‘These assaults, and their implicit criticism of the active VP, miss the mark.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Someone's attempt at a clever analogy perhaps; it rather missed the mark.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And with hummable lyrics and soulful tunes, she seems to have hit the right mark once again.’
    • ‘She may miss the mark sometimes, but you've gotta applaud her sense of adventure.’
    • ‘This is where the current public policies around work-life balance seem to miss the mark.’
    • ‘She threw the last knife she was holding at the target in frustration, not hitting far off from the target 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 thereby revealed herself to be a patsy, a mark, a victim of the Big Con.’
      • ‘She actually felt sorry for her; Scott was the worst person to work with when there was a major mark on the line.’
      • ‘The American salesman, everyone concedes, is the American salesman's easiest mark.’


  • 1Make (a visible impression or stain) on.

    ‘he fingered the photograph gently, careful not to mark it’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I lingered on the bruise that marked most of his cheek.’
    • ‘As we walked, we passed from grass and mud to stone-paved road, wet and dirty and marked with wheel tracks.’
    • ‘The latter is clearly marked with close-spaced lines where it has pressed against the gills of the immature cap.’
    • ‘They were faded, some stained by water from rain and a few marked by mud or beer.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    discolour, stain, smear, smudge, streak, blotch, blot, blemish
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    1. 1.1[no object]Become stained.
      ‘it is made from a sort of woven surface which doesn't mark or tear’
  • 2Write a word or symbol on (an object), typically for identification.

    ‘she marked all her possessions with her name’
    [with object and complement] ‘an envelope marked “private and confidential.”’
    • ‘They have placed it in a sealed envelope marked private and confidential.’
    • ‘Any solution that only can be administered topically should be marked clearly with that information.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Seven columns in each ring have been marked with strange symbols, forming a huge seven-pointed star.’
    • ‘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 (a word or figure) 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 on paper to indicate that it has passed or been dealt with.
      ‘he marked off their names in a ledger’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The homeroom instructor, however, simply shrugged and marked her off.’
      • ‘As we laboriously went through each box, we marked them off in our spreadsheet.’
      • ‘She unconsciously marked each day off on her desk calendar in her office.’
      • ‘I hadn't exactly been marking the days off between meetings but occasionally his handsome face had flitted through my thoughts.’
      • ‘The child marks the item off the list with help from his/her mother.’
      • ‘To pass the time he began to count, telling each one to lay down as he marked them off.’
      • ‘The receptionist looked them up and marked them off as present.’
      • ‘Make lists (daily/weekly) and mark things off as they're accomplished.’
      • ‘There she refers to a friend ‘who refuses to believe that committee work is just about marking items off an agenda.’’
      • ‘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.’
  • 3Show the position of.

    ‘the top of the pass marks the border between Alaska and the Yukon’
    • ‘Two large stones also stand almost due east and west to mark the local equinoctial positions of the sun.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The lamp, which would originally have been a gas lamp, marked a dividing line in the town.’
    • ‘In one part of the complex, crosses mark an area which has been designated as a graveyard.’
    • ‘Gaps themselves mark the areas of vulnerability and show the mechanism by which complexity flows through health care to individual patients.’
    • ‘It has marked the dividing line between North and South Korea ever since.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The position of each station will be marked by a cross.’
    • ‘Under an azure sky at Almondvale, horizontal trenches marked the areas where undersoil heating was being installed.’
    1. 3.1Separate or delineate (a particular section or area of something)
      ‘you need to mark out the part of the garden where the sun lingers longest’
      • ‘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 regional authorities have already marked the approximate area where the plane might have crashed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This includes the installation of meters, marking out spaces and signage.’
      • ‘However, some have been laid out in the traditional fashion with a border marking the area in front of the headstone.’
      • ‘Clam Bed Re-seeding Project: a section of the clam flats has been marked off as an experimental plot.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For example, it was decided to mark out the objective area by setting fire to four villages at its corners.’
      • ‘The entire place had been marked off with police tape and closed to the public.’
      • ‘Shrubs or even a low planting can serve as a way to mark off these separate areas.’
      • ‘Use canes to mark out the areas and apply the poison evenly.’
      • ‘The shorter man indicated the centre of the room which was currently marked off by cones and surrounded by a hoard of police.’
      • ‘A low fence of split bamboo marked off an inside area the width of a boxing ring and twice as long.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Arrowheads in B and C mark the zone of separation of the ectopic eye from the normal compound eye.’
      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) separate or distinguish (someone or something) from other people or things.
      ‘his sword marked him out as an officer’
      • ‘Good distribution allied with his pace and defensive qualities mark him out as a fine prospect.’
      • ‘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.’
      set apart, separate, single out, differentiate, distinguish
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    3. 3.3Select or destine someone for (a particular role or condition)
      ‘the solicitor general marked him out for government office’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Because Owen contains this hidden Keatsian poet he is marked out for suffering and an early death.’
      • ‘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 character, particularly his greed, hardly marks him out for special attention.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His Jewish descent and left-leaning political views are thought to have marked him out for targeting by the right.’
      • ‘It is his difference from societal norms, not his choices, which mark him out for his eventual tragic fate.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What marks Lavigne out for success, however, is the street cred she carries with her straight out of the skate park.’
      • ‘His life before entering the Commons hardly marks him out for the most challenging ministerial brief of the next decade.’
      • ‘But there was something in the quality of her voice that marked her out for a different musical path.’
      • ‘My parents were also older, which marked me out for bullying, both physical and verbal.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Those experiences marked him out for a teaching career, upon which he may have embarked.’
      • ‘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.’
      destine, ordain, predestine, preordain
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    4. 3.4Judge someone to be (a particular type or class of person)
      ‘she had marked him down as a liberal’
      • ‘An old school report marked Clary down as ‘languid and superior’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He may know nothing about Rangers, but they will already know enough about him to mark him down as a serious threat.’
      • ‘The promoter, who also officiates on the junior grasstrack scene, spotted Complin several years ago and marked him down as one for the future.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Despite her lack of years and inches, Wood has been marked down as the Next Big Thing in Scottish curling for several years.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If that's being a do-gooder, then mark me down as a proud one.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Collapsing with a fit of the jitters, she was marked down as a choker, not to be bothered with.’
      • ‘Confounding those who had marked him down as a Eurosceptic, he declared: ‘I believe in Europe as a political project.’’
      • ‘The Austrian authorities soon marked him down as a troublemaker as he encouraged trade unions and attacked the Catholic Church.’
    5. 3.5Acknowledge, honor, or celebrate (an important event or occasion) with a particular action.
      ‘to mark its fiftieth anniversary, the group held a fashion show’
      • ‘A church celebrating its 50th anniversary is to mark the occasion with two special events.’
      • ‘And when they came to the end of their trek their achievement was marked with celebrations.’
      • ‘I'll ask him why he's boycotting tomorrow's anniversary celebration in Moscow marking the end of World War Two.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The finished design marks the 400th anniversary of the 1605 gunpowder plot, led by infamous York son Guy Fawkes.’
      • ‘This ritual together with tonight's celebrations are all that mark an event which has now become pretty meaningless to British society.’
      • ‘This ceremony is supposed to mark an important event in the life of the eunuchs, when they realise their dream of marrying for once.’
      • ‘Plans are being formulated to hold a celebration event to mark the 10th anniversary of the club next April.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Graduation from high school and from college are seen as important events that mark the beginning of adulthood.’
      • ‘The celebrations marking the end of the ‘Great Patriotic War’ are underway in Moscow.’
      • ‘The event also marked the beginning of Pattaya's St. Valentine's Day celebrations.’
      • ‘A presentation was made to both earlier this year to mark the 50th anniversary of their position.’
      • ‘Four generations of the Salt family gathered in a building constructed by their ancestor to mark a festival celebrating Sir Titus Salt.’
      • ‘Celebrations to mark the big event were on a grand scale and went on for three nights.’
      • ‘The celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the event have been unprecedented in scope.’
      • ‘The week beginning July 8 would be marked by a flag ceremony.’
      • ‘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 bravery and resourcefulness of British prisoners of war will be celebrated in an exhibition marking the 60th anniversary of the Great Escape.’
      • ‘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 occasion, stage, or development)
      ‘the move to the new Globe theatre marked a new phase in Shakespeare’s writing career’
      • ‘If the Erskine scheme comes to pass, it will mark a significant change in fortunes for similar proposals.’
      • ‘This event marked a major change in the temper of the civil rights movement.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That event surely marked the end of the world as we have known it.’
      • ‘This event marked the start of the defeat of the reform 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 1930s marked a significant change in the Soviet approach to retail trade.’
      • ‘The Japanese responded at once, and these events marked the true beginning of the Sino-Japanese war.’
      • ‘Ms McGreal said the event marked the end of the ‘talking phase’ for women in agriculture.’
      • ‘Hartstein's decision marks a significant change in the direction of the company.’
      • ‘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 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 move marked a significant change in US policy and means that food aid can be used directly for military purposes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The legislation marks a significant change in US policy and means that food aid can be used directly as a weapon of war.’
      • ‘The Supreme Court opens today, marking our full judicial independence from Britain.’
      • ‘This marks a significant increase on previous years, with some very serious incidents requiring hospitalisation.’
      • ‘This event marked the humble beginning of what would become the US Air Force.’
      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’
      • ‘A quarterback's first season with a team is almost always marked by struggles fitting in with his new offense.’
      • ‘His subsequent work was marked by an offbeat intensity.’
      • ‘Her career had been marked by close defeats and valiant efforts.’
      • ‘Sargent's work is marked by its exceptional lucidity, its exactness of expression and by the decisiveness of her results.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Above all, he prepared mounts that were marked by meticulous attention to detail and precise labeling.’
      • ‘But apart from a few minor concessions, her term in office has been marked by close collaboration with business.’
      • ‘Dwelling as they did in clusters of local self-sufficiency, marked by a low standard of living, the people were ever threatened by famine.’
      • ‘Clough's early works are marked by a subdued palette of largely browns, greys and greens.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The media had under-rated his dad, Barry felt, and his career has been marked by a ruthless determination to correct that historical injustice.’
      • ‘So what does 2000 offer the mid-market fashion retail sector after another bleak Christmas marked by early sales notices?’
      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.’
  • 4(of a teacher or examiner) assess the standard of (a piece of written work) by assigning points for proficiency or correct answers.

    ‘the teachers are given adequate time to mark term papers’
    • ‘By the time I've finished seeing students, marking their work, preparing classes, doing the admin etc. etc. that more than doubles.’
    • ‘It's a very good point, which is why more and more academic work is marked by continuous assessment.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Without a tutor to mark your work, how will you know if you got it right?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It also says the initial measurement for seven-year-olds is unreliable as it is marked by teachers rather than external examiners.’
    • ‘She says the programme involved properly supported unit standards marked by trained teachers and assessed to the standard.’
    • ‘The exam papers were marked by teachers and then sent to external moderators.’
    • ‘Miss Piper began to call out the answers as the whole class followed and marked their own work.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Work has been set for him and as far as I'm concerned it's being marked by teachers.’
    • ‘She suffered a series of literary knockbacks until her work was marked by an external examiner during a creative writing course.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At £15 per child, the mock will be fully supervised under exam conditions and papers will be marked anonymously.’
    • ‘The examiner then marked it and explained why he had given the marks he had.’
    • ‘We were encouraged to mark our own work by referring to the answer books that were always readily available.’
    assess, evaluate, appraise, correct
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1Reduce the number of marks awarded to a student, candidate, or their work.
      ‘I was marked down for having skipped the last essay question’
      • ‘Even when made aware of bullying, Ofsted inspectors won't mark a school down for it now, either.’
      • ‘Upon hearing that he had been marked down for wandering, Levrone fumed, ‘I didn't know you could be marked down for walking offstage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Asked why she felt she was marked down by the judges, she said: ‘You better ask them.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Like the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Lewisham has been marked down for missing its four-hour A&E waiting time target for 2004 / 5.’
      • ‘Appraisal time is upon us, and all team leaders will have been instructed to find the slightest excuse to mark people down.’
  • 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
  • 6(of a player in a team game) stay close to (a particular opponent) in order to prevent them getting or passing the ball.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Since he would be closely marked by the opponents, other strikers would get more open space to play.’
    • ‘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?’’
    • ‘That means that the full-backs are tied, and the three central defenders are marking one striker.’
    • ‘Lorraine Pugh had her best performance in the game against Glynn as she was marking their best player Anne-Marie Moloney.’
    • ‘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.’


  • be quick (or slow) off the mark

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

      • ‘The city's snow - clearing trucks were slow off the mark, leaving angry shopkeepers to shovel their pavements.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Police were quick off the mark and they were here really fast.’
      • ‘He and everybody else were slow off the mark as the terrorist threat emerged in the mid 90's.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Left has been slow off the mark in identifying the obvious American responsibility for that event.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So, as soon as he made a serious gaffe - as he did - they were quick off the mark to call for his ouster.’
      • ‘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.’
      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 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 (or make) its (or one's or a) mark

    • Have a lasting or significant effect.

      ‘she left her mark on the world of foreign policy’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He penned pamphlets of protest, left his mark on Philadelphia's most significant free black institutions, and produced a moving spiritual autobiography.’
      • ‘Here are the three affairs that truly left their mark in history.’
      • ‘The riots of a year ago, have however, left their mark.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We must never forget the day when the terrorists left their mark of murder on our nation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Few people have so left their mark upon the world.’
      • ‘Incursions into the country, successively by the Persians, Byzantines, Mongols and Turks are all said to have left their mark on the cuisine.’
  • make one's mark

    • Attain recognition or distinction.

      • ‘Professionally, the 21-year-old Long Island native is already making her mark as one of the most distinctive character actors of her generation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It gives the illusion of doing something permanent, making your mark on the world.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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
  • mark time

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

      • ‘Still, some steps are better than just marking time in place, right?’
      • ‘I had them mark time and started them off marching down the trail that led to the football field.’
      • ‘He blew his whistle, signaling for the band to mark time.’
      1. 1.1Pass one's time in routine activities until a more favorable or interesting opportunity presents itself.
        • ‘Black can't improve his position so he marks time.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Do you love what you're doing or are you just marking time until that record deal goes through?’
        • ‘In the short term the markets are still nervous and will mark time until the outlook for the US becomes more certain.’
        • ‘But he's only marking time until he can return to New Orleans.’
        • ‘At her worst, Gilda comes off as a whinier Lucille Ball, and we mark time until the next skit.’
        • ‘The secondary has to find out and the kids with a high-level D have to mark time until those without catch up.’
        • ‘It's also probably bad news for developers, because they'll have to mark time until whenever ‘early’ is.’
        • ‘‘I would mark time during ballet, jazz, and acrobatics and wait for tap,’ she says.’
        • ‘It was as if they just wanted to mark time until the final whistle and take the win.’
  • mark you

    • Used to emphasize or draw attention to a statement.

      ‘I was persuaded, against my better judgment, mark you, to vote for him’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And this, mark you, in a business which is largely based in London.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This, mark you, is my first interview in six months.’
      • ‘Not, mark you, setting out to prove there is none, but determined to prove that there 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.’
      • ‘And all this, mark you, before a date for the general election has even been set.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • near (or close) to the mark

    • Almost accurate.

      ‘to say he was their legal adviser would be nearer the mark’
      • ‘Although descriptions of Clarke as the ‘next Waugh’ appeared trite, they are starting to look eerily close to the mark.’
      • ‘The anti-Communist series is still pretty 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.’
      • ‘Well, today's New York Times adds some new information that makes it look like Clinton was pretty 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.’
      • ‘This is an overly simplified explanation, but very close to the mark nonetheless.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Caddell is not alone among the anti-Bush who acknowledge that some Bush attacks are uncomfortably close to the mark.’
  • off (or wide of) the mark

    • 1A long way from an intended target.

      ‘his shot never is off the mark for long’
      off target, off the mark, wide of the mark, wide of the target, inaccurate, off course, astray, nowhere near, out
      inaccurate, incorrect, wrong, erroneous, inexact, off-target, off-beam, out, fallacious, mistaken, misguided, misinformed
      off target, wide of the mark, wide, awry
      View synonyms
    • 2Incorrect or inaccurate.

      ‘the accusation was a little wide of the mark’
      • ‘When the US State Department issued its damning report, again he was late and 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.’
      • ‘He was disturbed himself at the result of a report that was so far off the mark.’
      • ‘The analogy with a Chelsea footballer or a classical pianist is completely 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.’
      • ‘Readers are welcome to put me in my place and show me that I'm completely off the mark!’
      • ‘I think claims that there's too much oil out there today are just simply off the mark.’
      • ‘It appears that the invasion scares promoted by publications over the last few years were not completely off the mark.’
      • ‘But in seeing such engagements as determining our future development, they are way off the mark.’
      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’
      • ‘There was also the prospect of becoming a man of mark back home when the volunteer's term was up.’
      • ‘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.’
  • on the mark

    • Correct; accurate.

      • ‘Stalin was on the mark in saying that ‘one death is a milestone, a million is a statistic’.’
      • ‘But his political analysis was on the mark, even if he falls short of the presidency.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'd check back occasionally, and Jonas would always be on the mark with whatever analysis or discussion he was having.’
      • ‘Am I on the mark in thinking of you as mainly a political stirrer?’
      • ‘Some of these items are trivial or irrelevant, but many are on the mark.’
      • ‘Obviously, only one of the myriad of warnings he received throughout his four years in office was on the mark.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In a call for ‘appropriate content’ for an audience, it sounds like this is on the mark.’
      well aimed, precise, on target, unerring, deadly, lethal, sure, true, on the mark, careful, meticulous, painstaking, precision
      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
      View synonyms
  • on your marks

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

      ‘on your marks, get set, go!’
  • up to the mark

    • 1Of the required standard.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even so, the TV audio quality was not up to the mark.’
      • ‘It provides full wireless connectivity, easy synchronization with other wireless devices, high performance, up to the mark video and audio quality.’
      • ‘If quality was not up to the mark, it was taken away.’
      • ‘He held several senior positions at the infirmary, notably chairman of a committee which makes sure clinical standards are up to the mark.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 in as good spirits 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.

      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) add a certain amount to the cost of goods to cover overhead and profit.

      ‘they mark up the price of imported wines by 66 percent’
      increase, raise, up, put up, escalate
      View synonyms
    • 2Annotate or correct text for printing, keying, or typesetting.

      • ‘In addition, a copy of the draft lease was marked up with the proposed changes and returned to the hotel.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Everyone works with a single document, marking it up with their personal highlighting, notes, and edits.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The contents of the file can be marked up, such as adding color around words.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Previously, Eminent sent 150-to 500-page study-protocol documents to participating physicians and regulators, who marked them up and mailed them back.’
      • ‘I was not in a position to mark it up or to start working on it because I had to check it for correctness.’
      • ‘I can make the addresses and so on machine readable, I just need to know how to mark them up.’
      • ‘This new capability will eliminate the need to communicate changes by printing out a copy, marking it up, and faxing it back.’
      • ‘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).’
      • ‘By the time the copy editor got back, marked it up, and sent it down to the subs, it was 10 pm.’
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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



  • 1The basic monetary unit of Germany (until the introduction of the euro), equal to 100 pfennigs; a Deutschmark or, formerly, an Ostmark.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two billion German marks have been invested in the area's shipbuilding but the figures still show South Korea forging ahead.’
    • ‘When he called the next day, he said he was faxing Leeds an offer of a million marks.’
    • ‘Moreover, the budget was burdened annually to the tune of over 10 billion German marks by the war against the Kurds.’
    • ‘Braeutigam called on lawyers to forego part of their 125 million marks in fees to help pay the additional compensation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The avowed aim of the Treasury is to reduce new debt from the present 50 billion German marks to zero by the year 2006.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some 7.5 billion of German marks are frozen in state banks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The euro, which replaces the old francs, marks, guilders, pesetas, escudos, drachmas, and lire of the European Union, is not yet five years old.’
    • ‘The German mark was introduced as a parallel currency to the Yugoslav dinar and then the euro.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now that protection from future legal actions is in place, the 1.8 billion marks still missing from German business will probably trickle in.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That means the debt is likely to rise to 80 billion marks… It's way too high.’
    • ‘This in turn is equal to 1.95583 German marks, or 6.55957 French francs, or 166.386 Spanish pesetas, and so on.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some 1 billion marks will be used to build a plant for the manufacture of synthetic materials in Shanghai.’
  • 2A former English and Scottish money of account, equal to thirteen shillings and four pence in the currency of the day.

    • ‘In 1189 King William had taken advantage of Richard's financial needs to buy his freedom from English allegiance for 10,000 marks.’
    • ‘Mrs Burdett was to be paid in marks, which is an archaic form of English currency (20 marks was quite a generous amount).’
    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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Russia was also obliged to pay 6 billion gold marks in reparations.’


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