black mark

See synonyms for black mark on
  1. an indication of failure or censure: His chronic lateness is a black mark against him.

Origin of black mark

First recorded in 1835–45

Words Nearby black mark Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use black mark in a sentence

  • Vinson, sweating and unhappy now, had visions of a black mark on his record, and determined to make his point.

    The Stars, My Brothers | Edmond Hamilton
  • But to prevent any chance of discovery, I bought some acid, and burned this black mark under my eye.

    Grif | B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • And goodness knows, you're no beauty with that black mark across your chin and your slacks all grimy at the knees.

    Ralestone Luck | Andre Norton
  • The spot where she said he was, was shown by a large black mark, and he was found exactly in that place.

  • That night Betty put down a black mark, but not without feeling that the day had ended well in spite of its dark shadows.

    Betty Leicester | Sarah Orne Jewett

British Dictionary definitions for black mark

black mark

  1. an indication of disapproval, failure, etc

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with black mark

black mark

An indication of censure or failure, as in If you refuse to work late, won't that be a black mark against you? This phrase alludes to a literal black mark, such as a cross, that was put next to a person's name, indicating that he or she had incurred a rebuke or penalty of some kind. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.