[ mahrk ]
See synonyms for mark on
  1. a visible impression or trace on something, such as a line, cut, dent, stain, or bruise: The dye left a small mark on his arm.

  2. a badge, brand, or other visible sign assumed or imposed: He carried the banner as a mark of his noble rank.

  1. a symbol used in writing or printing: a punctuation mark.

  2. a sign, usually an X or cross, made instead of a signature by someone who does not know how or is unable to write their own name.

  3. an affixed or impressed device, symbol, inscription, etc., serving to give information, identify, indicate origin or ownership, attest to character or comparative merit, or the like, as a trademark.

  4. a sign, token, or indication: The ambassador should bow as a mark of respect when meeting the queen.

  5. a symbol used in rating conduct, proficiency, attainment, etc., as of students in a school: good marks; bad marks.

  6. something serving as an indication of position, as a landmark.

  7. a recognized or required standard of quality, accomplishment, etc.; norm: His dissertation was below the mark.

  8. distinction or importance; repute; note: a man of mark.

  9. a distinctive trait or characteristic: the usual marks of a gentleman.

  10. (usually initial capital letter)U.S. Military. a designation for an item of military equipment in production, used in combination with a numeral to indicate the order of adoption, and often abbreviated: a Mark-4 tank; an M-1 rifle.

  11. an object aimed at; target: to aim at the mark.

  12. an object or end desired or striven for; goal.

  13. Slang.

    • an object of derision, scorn, manipulation, or the like: He was an easy mark for criticism.

    • the intended victim of a swindler, hustler, or the like: The cardsharps picked their marks from among the tourists on the cruise ship.

  14. Track. the starting line.

  15. Boxing. the middle of the stomach.

  16. Lawn Bowling. jack1 (def. 18).

  17. Bowling. a strike or spare.

  18. Nautical. any of the distinctively marked points on a deep-sea lead line, occurring at levels of 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 15, 17, and 20 fathoms above the lead.: Compare deep (def. 33).

  19. a tract of land that may have been held in common by a primitive or early medieval community of peasants in Germany.

  20. Archaic or History/Historical. a boundary; frontier.

verb (used with object)
  1. to be a distinguishing feature of: a day marked by rain.

  2. to put a mark or marks on: to mark each box with an X.

  1. to give a grade for; put a grade on: to mark the final exams.

  2. to furnish with figures, signs, tags, etc., to indicate price, quality, brand name, or the like: We marked all the books with prices.

  3. to trace or form by or as if by marks (often followed by out): to mark out a plan of attack.

  4. to indicate or designate by or as if by marks: to mark passages to be memorized.

  5. to single out; destine (often followed by out): to be marked out for promotion.

  6. to record, as a score.

  7. to make manifest: to mark approval with a nod.

  8. to give heed or attention to: Mark my words!

  9. to notice or observe: to mark a change in the weather.

verb (used without object)
  1. to take notice; give attention; consider.

Verb Phrases
  1. mark down, to reduce the price of: These towels have been marked down.

  2. mark off, to mark the proper dimensions or boundaries of; separate: We marked off the limits of our lot with stakes.

  1. mark up,

    • to mar or deface with marks.

    • to mark with notations or symbols.

    • to fix the selling price of (an article) by adding to the seller's cost an amount to cover expenses and profit: to mark up dresses 50 percent.

    • to increase the selling price of.

    • to make corrections or changes to (written or printed text).

    • to indicate detailed instructions concerning the format, style, or structure for (a manuscript to be typeset, an electronic document, or a web page).

Idioms about mark

  1. beside the mark, not pertinent; irrelevant.

  2. bless / save the mark! (used as an exclamation of disapproval, contempt, impatience, etc.): Also God bless / save the mark!

  1. make one's mark, to attain success or fame; achieve one's ambition: He set out to make his mark as a writer.

  2. mark time. time (def. 55).

  3. on your mark / marks! (in calling the start of a race) take your places: On your mark! Get set! Go!: Also get ready!, ready!

  4. wide of the mark, far from the target or objective; inaccurate or irrelevant: My first guess was wide of the mark.

Origin of mark

First recorded before 900; Middle English noun mark(e), marc(e), marcke, Old English mearc, merc “mark, sign, banner, dividing line, borderland”; cognate with German Mark “borderland, unit of weight,” Old Norse mǫrk “forest (originally, borderland), unit of weight,” Gothic marka “boundary, borderland,” Latin margō “border”; see margin, march2

Other words for mark

Words Nearby mark

Other definitions for mark (2 of 3)

[ mahrk ]

  1. the monetary unit of Germany from 1871 to 2002, when the euro was adopted: originally a silver coin.: Compare Deutsche mark, ostmark, reichsmark.

  2. the markka of Finland.

  1. Also Chiefly Scot., merk [merk] /mɛrk/ . a former money of account and silver coin of Scotland, equal to 13s. 4d.

  2. a former money of account of England, equal to 13s. 4d.

  3. a former coin of Estonia, the 1/100 part of a kroon: replaced by the sent after 1927.

  4. a former European unit of weight, especially for gold and silver, generally equal to 8 ounces (249 grams).

Origin of mark

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English marc, a unit of weight, from Medieval Latin marca, from Germanic; see mark1

Other definitions for Mark (3 of 3)

[ mahrk ]

  1. one of the four Evangelists: traditionally believed to be the author of the second Gospel.

  2. the second Gospel: to read aloud from Mark.

  1. King Mark, Arthurian Legend. ruler of Cornwall, husband of Iseult and uncle of Sir Tristram.

  2. Saint Mark. Marcus, Saint.

  3. a male given name, form of Marcus. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mark in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mark (1 of 3)


/ (mɑːk) /

  1. a visible impression, stain, etc, on a surface, such as a spot or scratch

  2. a sign, symbol, or other indication that distinguishes something: an owner's mark

  1. a cross or other symbol made instead of a signature

  2. a written or printed sign or symbol, as for punctuation: a question mark

  3. a letter, number, or percentage used to grade academic work

  4. a thing that indicates position or directs; marker

  5. a desired or recognized standard: he is not up to the mark

  6. an indication of some quality, feature, or prowess: he has the mark of an athlete

  7. quality or importance; note: a person of little mark

  8. a target or goal

  9. impression or influence: he left his mark on German literature

  10. one of the temperature settings on a gas oven: gas mark 5

  11. (often capital) (in trade names)

    • model, brand, or type: the car is a Mark 4

    • a variation on a particular model: a Mark 3 Cortina

  12. slang a suitable victim, esp for swindling

  13. nautical one of the intervals distinctively marked on a sounding lead: Compare deep (def. 21)

  14. bowls another name for the jack 1 (def. 7)

  15. rugby Union an action in which a player standing inside his own 22m line catches a forward kick by an opponent and shouts "mark", entitling himself to a free kick

  16. Australian rules football a catch of the ball from a kick of at least 10 yards, after which a free kick is taken

  17. the mark boxing the middle of the stomach at or above the line made by the boxer's trunks

  18. (in medieval England and Germany) a piece of land held in common by the free men of a community

  19. an obsolete word for frontier

  20. statistics See class mark

  21. make one's mark to succeed or achieve recognition

  22. on your mark or on your marks a command given to runners in a race to prepare themselves at the starting line

  1. to make or receive (a visible impression, trace, or stain) on (a surface)

  2. (tr) to characterize or distinguish: his face was marked by anger

  1. (often foll by off or out) to set boundaries or limits (on): to mark out an area for negotiation

  2. (tr) to select, designate, or doom by or as if by a mark: to mark someone as a criminal

  3. (tr) to put identifying or designating labels, stamps, etc, on, esp to indicate price: to mark the book at one pound

  4. (tr) to pay heed or attention to: mark my words

  5. to observe; notice

  6. to grade or evaluate (scholastic work): she marks fairly

  7. British sport to stay close to (an opponent) to hamper his or her play

  8. to keep (score) in some games

  9. mark time

    • to move the feet alternately as in marching but without advancing

    • to act in a mechanical and routine way

    • to halt progress temporarily, while awaiting developments

  1. rugby Union the shout given by a player when calling for a mark

Origin of mark

Old English mearc mark; related to Old Norse mörk boundary land, Old High German marha boundary, Latin margō margin

British Dictionary definitions for mark (2 of 3)


/ (mɑːk) /

  1. a former monetary unit and coin in England and Scotland worth two thirds of a pound sterling

  1. a silver coin of Germany until 1924

Origin of mark

Old English marc unit of weight of precious metal, perhaps from the marks on metal bars; apparently of Germanic origin and related to mark 1

British Dictionary definitions for Mark (3 of 3)


/ (mɑːk) /

nounNew Testament
  1. one of the four Evangelists. Feast day: April 25

  2. the second Gospel, traditionally ascribed to him

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 mark


In addition to the idioms beginning with mark

  • mark down
  • marked man, a
  • mark my words
  • mark time
  • mark up

also see:

  • beside the point (mark)
  • black mark
  • give bad marks to
  • high-water mark
  • hit the bull's-eye (mark)
  • make one's mark
  • off the mark
  • quick off the mark
  • toe the line (mark)
  • up to par (the mark)
  • wide of the mark
  • x marks the spot

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