from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The official stamp of the Goldsmiths' Company and other assay offices, in the United Kingdom, on gold and silver articles, attesting their purity.
  • n. A distinguishing characteristic or characteristics.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To assay and stamp, as with the official mark of the Goldsmiths' Company.
  • n. In England, an official stamp put upon articles made of gold and silver as an evidence of genuineness: so called from Goldsmiths' Hall in London, the seat of the Goldsmiths' Company, by whom the, stamping is legally regulated.
  • n. Hence Any mark of genuineness, good quality, or respectability.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a distinctive characteristic or attribute
  • n. a mark on an article of trade to indicate its origin and authenticity


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Old Ahuna was one of the real old ones with the hall-mark on him and branded into him of faithful born-slave service.


  • That I am marked with the hall-mark of gentlehood there is no discussion ... unless either of you care to discuss the matter now ...


  • Sitka Charley was an Indian; his criteria were primitive; but his word was flat, and his verdict a hall-mark in every camp under the circle.

    Jack London Play:The Scorn of Women

  • A white man in these islands, the reader is told, needs to be both careful and lucky: He must have the hall-mark of the inevitable white man stamped upon his soul.

    “Some day, all the fools will be dead....”

  • Senate to speak forcefully of the incompetence which is the hall-mark of the entire Iraq debacle.

    Obtained: A Tape Of Reid's Conference Call With Bloggers -- Reid Did Blast Pace

  • For the daughters of the aristocracy, this meant presentation at Court. it commonly occurred when a young woman reached the age of eighteen and was, in the words of one etiquette book "the hall-mark demanded of those who aspire to fashionable life."

    Coming Out

  • This is a hall-mark of mutual trustin your child and your being a reasonable, firm parent.

    Childhood Unbound

  • It is practically a hall-mark of the ideology, because, of course, this time, our enlightened betters will finally get it right.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Obama Administration Continues to Defend State Secrets:

  • Canada's armed forces are increasingly safely irrelevant there but rather the automatic uncritical political backing of Washington's bully tactics which have become a hall-mark of Harper's foreign policy.

    "if obama wins, will you return to the u.s.?"

  • His Majesty laughed heartily enough; any speech that bore the hall-mark of wit was certain to please him; but he nevertheless replied with one of those royal pleasantries whose sweetness is more formidable than the anger of a rebuke.

    The Ball at Sceaux


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