American English

Definition of mark noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a small area of dirt, a spot, or a cut on a surface that spoils its appearance The kids left dirty marks all over the kitchen floor. a burn/scratch mark Detectives found no marks on the body.
  2. 2a noticeable spot or area of color on the body of a person or an animal that helps you to recognize them a horse with a white mark on its head He was about six feet tall, with no distinguishing marks. see also birthmark, marking synonyms at patch
  3. symbol
  4. 3a written or printed symbol that is used as a sign of something, for example the quality of something or who made or owns it punctuation/proofreading marks Any piece of silver bearing his mark is extremely valuable. I put a mark in the margin to remind me to check the figure. see also question mark, quotation marks, trademark
  5. sign
  6. 4a sign that a quality or feeling exists On the day of the funeral businesses remained closed as a mark of respect. Such coolness under pressure is the mark of a champion.
  7. standard/grade
  8. 5a number or letter that is given to show the standard of someone's work or performance to get a good/low mark in English to give someone a high/low mark The administration's handling of the crisis deserves top marks. see also black mark, grade
  9. level
  10. 6a level or point that something reaches that is thought to be important Unemployment has passed the four million mark. Temperatures had soared toward the 90 degree mark. She was leading at the halfway mark.
  11. machine/vehicle
  12. 7Mark (followed by a number) a particular type or model of a machine or vehicle the Mark II engine
  13. signature
  14. 8a cross made on a document instead of a signature by someone who is not able to write their name
  15. target
  16. 9(formal) a target Of the blows delivered, barely half found their mark. to hit/miss the mark
  17. German money
  18. 10= Deutschmark
  19. Thesauruspatchdot mark spotThese are all words for a small part on a surface that is a different color from the rest.patch an area of something, especially one which is different from the area around it:a white dog with a black patch around its eye patches of dense fogdot a small round mark on something, especially one that is printed:The letters “i” and “j” have dots over them. The island is a small green dot on the map. Periods and decimal points are often referred to as “dots,” especially when talking about computers:The file is called “my essay dot doc.” The IP address is “192 dot 168 dot zero dot zero.”mark a noticeable area of color on the body of a person or an animal:The horse had a white mark on his a small round area that is a different color or feels different from the surface it is on:Which one has spots—a leopard or a tiger?Patterns a patch/dot/mark/spot on something with patches/dots/marks/spots a blue/black/red, etc. patch/dot/mark/spot Thesaurusmarkstain fingerprint streak speck blot smear spotThese are all words for a small area of dirt or another substance on a surface.mark a small area of dirt or other substance on the surface of something, especially one that spoils its appearance:The kids left dirty marks all over the kitchen floor.stain a dirty mark on something that is difficult to remove, especially one made by a liquid:blood stainsfingerprint a mark on a surface made by the pattern of lines on the end of a person's finger, often used by the police to identify criminals:Her fingerprints were all over the gun.streak a long thin mark or line that is a different color from the surface it is on:She had streaks of gray in her hair.speck a very small mark, spot, or piece of a substance on something:There isn't a speck of dust anywhere in the house.blot a spot or dirty mark left on something by a substance such as ink being dropped on a surface:an ink blotsmear a mark made by something such as oil or paint being spread or rubbed on a surface:She had smears of paint on her a small dirty mark on something:He found grease spots all over the walls.Patterns a streak/speck/blot/smear/spot of something a greasy mark/stain/smear a/an ink mark/stain/blot/spot a/an grease mark/stain/spot to leave a mark/stain/fingerprint/streak/speck/blot/smearIdioms
    be close to/near the mark
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    to be fairly accurate in a guess, statement, etc. Such guesses are thought to be close to the mark. “The Los Angeles Times” was nearer the mark when it said…
    be off the mark
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    not to be accurate in a guess, statement, etc. No, you're way off the mark.
    be on the mark
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    to be accurate or correct That estimate was right on the mark. I think that your idea is right on the mark.
    hit/miss the mark
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    to succeed/fail in achieving or guessing something He blushed furiously and Robyn knew she had hit the mark.
    leave your/its/a mark (on something/somebody)
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    to have an effect on something or someone, especially a bad one, that lasts for a long time Such a traumatic experience was bound to leave its mark on the children. War has left its mark on the country. She left a permanent mark on racing history.
    make your/a mark (on something)
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    to become famous and successful in a particular area He has already made his mark on the music industry. She quickly made her mark as a film director.
    on your mark, get set, go!
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    used to tell runners in a race to get ready and then to start
    overstep the mark/line
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    to behave in a way that people think is not acceptable She realized she had overstepped the mark and quickly apologized.
    quick/slow off the mark
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    fast/slow in reacting to a situation If you're quick off the mark in answering these questions, you could win a prize.
    toe the line/mark
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    to say or do what someone in authority tells you to say or do, even if you do not share the same opinions, etc. One or two of them refused to toe the line. to toe the party line
    wide of the mark
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    not accurate Their predictions turned out to be wide of the mark.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: mark