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[mahr-ker] /ˈmɑr kər/
a person or thing that marks.
something used as a mark or indication, as a bookmark or tombstone.
a person who records the scores, points, etc., as in a game or contest.
a counter used in card playing.
Genetics. genetic marker.
Psychology. an object, as a book or topcoat left at a library table, used to establish territorial possession in a public place.
  1. an element of a construction, as a coordinating conjunction, that is not a part of either immediate constituent.
  2. an element that indicates the grammatical class or function of a construction.
a small radio beacon, automatically operated, used for local navigation of vessels.
Also called marker pen, marking pen. a pen designed for making bold, colorful, or indelible marks, as in making signs or identifying objects.
  1. a debt, especially a gambling debt.
  2. a written or signed promise to pay a debt, especially a gambling debt; a promissory note or IOU.
Also called marker crude. Commerce. a grade of oil on which prices of other crude oils are based.
Citizens Band Radio Slang. one's location while driving on a highway, as determined by the nearest milepost.
Origin of marker
First recorded in 1480-90; mark1 + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for marker
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Tibby put a marker in the leaves of his Chinese Grammar and helped them.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • The first "XV" explaining "Rebeck" has no marker in the original text.

  • marker attempted to shoot the constable, but his revolver missed fire.

    Policing the Plains R.G. MacBeth
  • He had employed a marker, who had just marked nineteen out of the twenty.

    Cattle and Cattle-breeders William M'Combie
  • The marker has been moved next to the reference to a dissecting pin in the text.


    William H. Dooley
British Dictionary definitions for marker


  1. something used for distinguishing or marking
  2. (as modifier): a marker buoy
a person or thing that marks
a person or object that keeps or shows scores in a game
a trait, condition, gene, or substance that indicates the presence of, or a probable increased predisposition to, a medical or psychological disorder See biological marker, genetic marker, medical marker
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for marker

Old English mearcere "writer, notary" (glossing Latin notarius "clerk"), literally "one who marks," agent noun from mark (v). Not found again until late 15c., hence modern use is perhaps a separate formation. Meaning "monument stone" is from 1888. Meaning "felt-tipped marker pen" is from 1951, so called because their purpose was to "highlight" text.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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marker in Medicine

marker mark·er (mär'kər)

  1. One that marks or serves as a mark.

  2. A physiological substance, such as human chorionic gonadotropin or alpha-fetoprotein, that may indicate disease when present in abnormal amounts in the serum, as that caused by a malignancy. Also called biomarker.

  3. A genetic marker.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for marker



  1. iou: He is willing to take Charley's marker for a million (1887+)
  2. point or score: eight markers in the first period (1940s+ Sports)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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