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quotation mark

one of the marks used to indicate the beginning and end of a quotation, in English usually shown as “ at the beginning and ” at the end, or, for a quotation within a quotation, of single marks of this kind, as “He said, ‘I will go.’ ” Frequently, especially in Great Britain, single marks are used instead of double, the latter being then used for a quotation within a quotation.
Sometimes, quote mark.
Origin of quotation mark
First recorded in 1880-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for quotation mark
Historical Examples
  • In Chapter I, a quotation mark was removed after "could that be possible?"


    E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung
  • In Chapter I, a quotation mark has been added after "for a rainy day."

    The Bronze Eagle

    Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy
  • Page 20: quotation mark added to the end of "we have no dialects."

    The American Language Henry L. Mencken
  • In Chapter V, a quotation mark was added after "They: the people of old."

    The Secret of Sarek

    Maurice Leblanc
  • In Chapter XI, a quotation mark was removed after "what did he care?"

    813 Maurice Leblanc
  • A quotation mark was removed before "Flynt was not here, was he?"

    Mortmain Arthur Cheny Train
  • Inconsistencies in quotation mark usage, single quotes, double quotes, and quotes-within-quotes are all as in the original.

    Fiends, Ghosts, and Sprites John Nettin Radcliffe
  • Page 313: The quotation mark immediately following 'It begins immediately with' has no closing quote.

  • And Miss Larrabee punctuated this with a wink which we took to be a quotation mark, and she went on with her work.

    In Our Town William Allen White
  • In Chapter V, an apostrophe following "I don't see anything that looks like a cabin," has been changed to a quotation mark.

    Ben's Nugget Horatio, Jr. Alger
British Dictionary definitions for quotation mark

quotation mark

either of the punctuation marks used to begin or end a quotation, respectively and or and in English printing and writing. When double marks are used, single marks indicate a quotation within a quotation, and vice versa Also called inverted comma
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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