Definition of mark noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//mɑːk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//mɑːrk//
    Exams and assessment, Teaching and learning, School life
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  1. 1  a small area of dirt, a spot or a cut on a surface that spoils its appearance The children left dirty marks all over the kitchen floor. a burn/scratch mark Detectives found no marks on the body. Synonymsmarkstain 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 colour from the surface it is on:She had streaks of grey 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 or paint being dropped on a surfacesmear a mark made by something such as oil or paint being spread or rubbed on a surfacespot a small dirty mark on something:There were grease spots all over the walls.Patterns a streak/​speck/​blot/​smear/​spot of something a greasy mark/​stain/​smear an ink mark/​stain/​blot/​spot a grease mark/​stain/​spot to leave a mark/​stain/​fingerprint/​streak/​speck/​blot/​smear
  2. 2  a noticeable spot or area of colour on the body of a person or an animal which helps you to recognize them a horse with a white mark on its head He was about six feet tall, with no distinguishing marks. Synonymspatchdot mark spotThese are all words for a small part on a surface that is a different colour 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 on its head 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.mark a noticeable area of colour on the body of a person or animal:The horse had a white mark on its head.spot a small round area that is a different colour or feels different from the surface it is on:Which 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 see also birthmark, marking
  3. symbol
  4. 3  a 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 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 exclamation mark, question mark, 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. 5  (especially British English) a number or letter that is given to show the standard of somebody’s work or performance or is given to somebody for answering something correctly to get a good/poor mark in English to give somebody a high/low mark What's the pass mark (= the mark you need in order to pass)? I got full marks (= the highest mark possible) in the spelling test. (ironic) ‘You're wearing a tie!’ ‘Full marks for observation.’ see also black mark, grade Wordfindercandidate, exam, grade, invigilate, mark, oral, paper, practical, resit, revise See related entries: Exams and assessment, Teaching and learning, School life
  9. level
  10. 6a level or point that something reaches that is thought to be important Unemployment has passed the four million mark. Ratings had soared towards the 20 million mark. The needle was flickering around the 80 mark. She was leading at the half-way 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. in gas oven
  14. 8Mark (British English) (followed by a number) a particular level of temperature in a gas oven Preheat the oven to gas Mark 6.
  15. signature
  16. 9a cross made on a document instead of a signature by somebody who is not able to write their name
  17. target
  18. 10(formal) a target Of the blows delivered, barely half found their mark. to hit/miss the mark
  19. German money
  20. 11 = Deutschmark
  21. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 10 Old English mearc, gemerce (noun), mearcian (verb), of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Latin margo ‘margin’. noun sense 11 Old English marc, from Old Norse mǫrk; probably related to mark (other senses).Extra examples Does he have any distinguishing marks? How did you get that mark on your shirt? How many marks out of ten would you give it? I got full marks for my homework. If you get below 40 marks, you’re not allowed to go up into the next class. Marks are deducted for incorrect spelling. She took off a mark for bad handwriting. Shock tactics often fall wide of their mark. Spending has now reached the $1 million mark. Such thoughtful behaviour is the mark of a true gentleman. The dirty water left a mark around the side of the bathtub. The experience left a deep mark on her memory. The festival organizers deserve high marks. The river was at its low-water mark. The shot found its mark. Their relationship was approaching the two-year mark. There were grubby marks on the wall. There were two small puncture marks on her arm. These greasy marks just won’t come out. This year’s sales figures have already passed the mark set last year. We’ve reached the halfway mark in the show. What’s the pass mark in chemistry? Women are continuing to make their mark in business. You get two marks for each correct answer. Your grammar is not quite up to the mark. a good mark for geography around the $500 mark the real mark of a master craftsman ‘You’re wearing a tie!’ ‘ Full marks for observation.’ A faint pencil mark showed where the house was on the map. Do you have any distinguishing marks? He tried to remove the marks with bleach. I got a good mark in English. I got full marks in the spelling test. Look for a bird with a blue mark on its wings. On the day of the funeral businesses remained closed as a mark of respect. Police examined the tyre marks left in the mud. Skid marks curved across the road. The horse had a white mark on its head. The iron left scorch marks on my new shirt. The kids left dirty marks all over the kitchen floor. The marks wouldn’t come off the floor. Why did she have scratch marks on her face? a question/​exclamation markIdioms
    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 Times’ was nearer the mark when it said…
    not to be accurate in a guess, statement, etc. No, you're way off the mark. to be accurate or correct That estimate was right on the mark. I think that your idea is right on the mark. to start scoring, especially in cricket Stewart got off the mark with a four. 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/somebody, 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.
    not be/feel up to the mark
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    (old-fashioned, British English) not to feel as well or lively as usual I’m not feeling up to the mark at the moment.
    on your marks, get set, go!
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    used to tell runners in a race to get ready and then to start
    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 (North American English also toe the mark)
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    to say or do what somebody 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
    up to the mark (British English) (North American English up to snuff)
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    as good as it/they should be synonym up to scratch Your work isn't really up to the mark.
    not accurate Their predictions turned out to be wide of the mark.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: mark