an official mark stamped on letters and other mail, serving as a cancellation of the postage stamp and indicating the place, date, and sometimes time of sending or receipt.

verb (used with object)

to stamp with a postmark.

Origin of postmark

First recorded in 1670–80; post3 + mark1
Related formsun·post·marked, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for postmark

Historical Examples of postmark

  • A postmark is the stamp put on the outside of a letter at the office where it is posted.

  • It bore the Paris postmark: on it was drawn the route from Verdun to the frontier.

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

  • There was no date and no address, but the postmark was Bradfield in the north of England.

  • To my surprise I noticed that the stamp in the corner was English and the postmark "London."

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He glanced at the postmark, saw that it was Nantucket, and stuck the note behind the clock.

    Cap'n Eri

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for postmark



any mark stamped on mail by postal officials, such as a simple obliteration, date mark, or indication of routeSee also cancellation


(tr) to put such a mark on mail
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

Word Origin and History for postmark

1670s, from post (n.3) + mark (n.1). As a verb from 1716. Related: Postmarked; postmarking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper