Meaning of MARK in English


I. Deutsch ‧ mark /ˈdɔɪtʃmɑːk $ -mɑːrk/ BrE AmE ( also mark ) noun [countable]

[ Date: 1900-2000 ; Language: German ; Origin: 'German mark' ]

the standard unit of money used in Germany before the ↑ euro

II. mark 1 S3 W2 /mɑːk $ mɑːrk/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Sense 1-20, 22: Language: Old English ; Origin: mearc 'border, edge, sign' ]

[ Sense 21: Date: 1800-1900 ; Language: German ]

1 . DIRT a spot or dirty area on something that spoils its appearance:

I can’t get these marks out of my T-shirt.

His feet left dirty marks all over the floor.

The skid marks (=marks left by a car’s tyres) were over 30 feet long.

2 . DAMAGED AREA a cut, hole, or other small sign of damage

burn/scratch/bite etc mark

a burn mark on the kitchen table

There were scratch marks all over the victim’s body.

3 . COLOURED AREA a small area of darker or lighter colour on a plain surface such as a person’s skin or an animal’s fur:

The kitten is mainly white with black marks on her back.

⇨ ↑ birthmark

4 . WRITING a shape or sign that is written or printed:

What do those strange marks at the top mean?

Make a mark at the bottom of the page.

5 . LEVEL/NUMBER a particular level, number, amount etc

pass/reach/approach etc the ... mark

The temperature is not expected to reach the 20 degree mark in the next few days.

In 1976 unemployment in Britain passed the one million mark.

6 . STUDENT’S WORK especially British English a letter or number given by a teacher to show how good a student’s work is SYN grade American English

good/high mark

The highest mark was a B+.

Her marks have been a lot lower this term.

She always gets good marks.

pass mark (=the mark you need in order to pass an exam)

The pass mark was 75%.

full/top marks (=the highest possible mark)

7 . full/top marks for effort/trying/persistence etc British English spoken used to praise someone for trying hard to do something, even though they did not succeed:

I have to give you top marks for determination.

8 . high/low mark approval or disapproval of something or of the way someone has done something:

Parents gave the kit high marks.

his low marks as transportation chief

9 . make/leave your mark to become successful or famous:

It took him only two games to make his mark.

make/leave your mark as

He made his mark as a pianist in the 1920s.

make/leave your mark on/in

He has left his mark on baseball history.

10 . leave/make its mark on somebody/something to affect someone or something so that they change in a permanent or very noticeable way:

Singers like Franklin and Redding helped gospel music make its mark on popular culture.

Growing up during the war had left its mark on her.

11 . off the mark/wide of the mark not correct SYN inaccurate :

Our cost estimate was way off the mark.

12 . close to the mark correct:

His next guess was closer to the mark.

13 . be a mark of something to show that someone or something is a particular thing, has a particular quality etc SYN be a sign of something :

The ability to perform well under pressure is the mark of a true champion.

14 . a mark of respect/honour/affection etc something that happens or is done to show respect, honour etc

a mark of respect/honour/affection etc for

The plaque awarded to Grant is a mark of recognition for his years of service.

There was a two-minute silence as a mark of respect for the dead.

15 . Mark 2/6 etc ( also mark 2/6 etc )

a) especially British English a particular type or model of a car, machine etc:

an old Mark 2 Ford Cortina

b) a measurement used in Britain for the temperature of a gas ↑ oven :

Cook for 40 minutes at gas mark 6.

16 . hit/miss the mark

a) to hit or miss the thing that you were shooting at

b) to succeed or fail to have the effect you wanted:

Although it contains a certain amount of truth, this theory ultimately misses the mark.

17 . be quick/slow/first etc off the mark informal to be quick, slow, first etc to understand things or react to situations:

You’ll have to be quick off the mark if you want to find a job around here.

18 . not up to the mark British English

a) not good enough:

Her work just isn’t up to the mark.

b) old-fashioned not well and healthy:

I’m not feeling quite up to the mark today.

19 . the halfway mark the point in a race, journey, or event that is half way between the start and the finish

20 . bear the mark of something

a) to show the physical signs of something which happened in the past:

His face bore the marks of many missions.

b) if something bears the mark of something or someone, it has signs that show who or what made it or influenced it:

His speech bore all the marks of his military background.

21 . on your mark(s), get set, go! spoken said in order to start a race

22 . MONEY the standard unit of money used in Germany before the ↑ euro

23 . SIGNATURE old use a sign in the form of a cross, used by someone who is not able to write their name

HINT : ► Do not use mark to mean ‘a product made by a particular company’. Use make or brand : an expensive make of camera | a well-known brand of toothpaste

⇨ ↑ exclamation mark , ⇨ overstep the mark at ↑ overstep (2), ⇨ ↑ punctuation mark , ↑ question mark , ↑ speech marks

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1 & 2)

■ verbs

▪ make a mark

Her lipstick had made a mark on his collar.

▪ leave a mark (=make a mark)

The glass had left a mark on the table.

▪ remove a mark

The product removes greasy marks from clothes.

▪ a mark comes off/out

I can’t get this dirty mark to come out.

▪ a mark fades (=it gradually disappears)

His scratch marks have faded, but the memories never will.


▪ a black mark

There were black marks all over the floor.

▪ a dirty mark

What’s that dirty mark on your coat?

▪ a greasy mark

It’s good for getting greasy marks off carpet.

▪ a tyre mark British English , a tire mark American English (=a mark left on the ground by a vehicle’s tyre)

The track was pretty soft and there were tyre marks.

▪ a skid mark (=a long tyre mark caused by a car that has lost control)

After the accident, two sets of skid marks were found.

▪ a scorch/burn mark (=a mark caused by burning)

There appeared to be scorch marks on the ceiling.

▪ a stretch mark (=a mark on your skin caused by stretching)

Most women get stretch marks when they have a baby.

▪ a bite mark (=a mark where something has bitten you)

Her arms were covered in itchy bite marks.

▪ a scratch mark

The chairs had made scratch marks on the floor.

• • •


■ a dirty mark

▪ mark a dirty area on something that spoils its appearance:

The bark of the tree had made black marks on her trousers.

▪ spot a small mark on something:

a grease spot on my shirt

▪ stain a mark that is difficult to remove, especially one made by a dark liquid:

a wine stain on the tablecloth


blood stains

▪ smudge a mark that is made when something touches against a surface:

There was a smudge of lipstick on his cheek.


He had a smudge of chalk on his jacket.

▪ smear a mark that is made by a small amount of something spread across a surface:

The table had a smear of paint on the top.

▪ fingerprint ( also fingermark British English ) a mark on the surface of something that is made by someone’s fingers:

The glass was covered with greasy fingerprints.

■ a mark on your skin

▪ blemish a mark on your skin that spoils its appearance:

John grew a beard to hide the blemishes on his chin.

▪ mole a small dark, sometimes raised, mark on your skin:

Some moles may become cancerous.


Helena found a mole on her arm which had definitely not been there before.

▪ freckles small light brown marks on your skin, especially on your face but also on your arms, shoulders etc:

She had a light sprinkling of freckles across her nose.

▪ birthmark a permanent mark on your skin that you have had since you were born:

There was a small birthmark on her left cheek.

▪ bruise a purple or brown mark on your skin that you get because you have fallen or been hit:

Her legs were covered in cuts and bruises.

▪ scar a permanent mark on your skin, caused by a cut or by something that burns you:

The injury left a small scar on his forehead.

▪ pimple/zit ( also spot British English ) a small raised red mark or lump on your skin, which usually appears when a child is between 12 and 18 years old:

When I was a teenager I had terrible spots.


The boy had a few pimples under his chin.

▪ wart a small hard raised mark on your skin caused by a virus:

His face was covered in hairy warts.

▪ blister a small area of skin that is swollen and full of liquid because it has been rubbed or burned:

There was a blister on his arm where the boiling milk had splashed him.

▪ rash an area of small red spots on your skin, caused by an illness or an ↑ allergy :

I can’t eat strawberries - they give me a rash.

III. mark 2 S2 W2 BrE AmE verb

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ mark ; adverb : ↑ markedly ; adjective : ↑ marked ≠ ↑ unmarked ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: mearcian ]

1 . WRITE ON SOMETHING [transitive] to write or draw on something, so that someone will notice what you have written:

I’ve marked the pages you need to look at.

mark something with something

When you’re done, put your sheet in the envelope marked with your name.

mark something on something

Peter marked his name on the first page.

mark something personal/fragile/urgent etc

a document marked ‘confidential’

mark somebody present/absent (=write on an official list that someone is there or not there, especially in school)

Any student who is more than 20 minutes late for class will be marked absent.

All school uniform should be clearly marked with the child’s name.

2 . DAMAGE [intransitive and transitive] to make a mark on something in a way that spoils its appearance or damages it, or to become spoiled in this way:

Take off your shoes so you don’t mark the floor.

The disease had marked her face for life.

The table marks easily, so please be careful.

3 . CELEBRATE [transitive] to celebrate an important event:

celebrations to mark Australia Day

mark something with something

Carter’s 90th birthday will be marked with a large party at the Savoy Hotel.

Mrs Lawson was presented with a gold watch to mark the occasion.

4 . SHOW POSITION [transitive] to show where something is:

A simple wooden cross marked her grave.

He had marked the route on the map in red.

mark something with something

Troop positions were marked with colored pins.

She placed a bookmark between the pages to mark her place.

5 . YEAR/MONTH/WEEK [transitive] if a particular year, month, or week marks an important event, the event happened on that date during a previous year:

This week marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Priestley.

6 . SHOW A CHANGE [transitive] to be a sign of an important change or an important stage in the development of something:

Her latest novel marks a turning point in her development as a writer.

The move seemed to mark a major change in government policy.

These elections mark the end of an era.

7 . QUALITY/FEATURE [transitive usually passive] if something is marked by a particular quality or feature, it is a typical or important part of that thing SYN characterize :

The villages of East Anglia are marked by beautiful churches with fine towers.

8 . STUDENT’S WORK [transitive] especially British English to read a piece of written work and put a number or letter on it to show how good it is SYN grade American English :

I’ve got a pile of exam papers to mark.

9 . SPORT [transitive] especially British English to stay close to a player of the opposite team during a game SYN guard American English

10 . be marking time to spend time not doing very much except waiting for something else to happen:

I was just marking time until a better job came up.

11 . mark time if soldiers mark time, they move their legs as if they were marching, but remain in the same place

12 . (you) mark my words! spoken used to tell someone that they should pay attention to what you are saying:

They’re going to regret firing me, you mark my words!

13 . mark you British English old-fashioned used to emphasize something you say SYN mind you :

Her uncle’s just given her a car – given, mark you, not lent.

⇨ ↑ marked

mark somebody/something ↔ down phrasal verb

1 . to write something down, especially in order to keep a record:

Mark down everything you eat on your daily chart.

mark somebody/something down as something

The teacher marked him down as absent.

2 . to reduce the price of something OPP mark up ⇨ markdown :

Winter coats have been marked down from $80 to $50.

3 . especially British English to give a student a lower result in a test, paper etc because they have made mistakes:

Students will be marked down for failing to follow directions.

mark somebody/something down as something phrasal verb

British English to consider someone or something to be a particular type of person or thing:

When I first saw Gilbert play I marked him down as a future England player.

mark somebody/something ↔ off phrasal verb

1 . to make an area separate by drawing a line around it, putting a rope around it etc:

The competitors’ arena had been marked off with cones.

2 . to make a mark on a list to show that something has been done or completed SYN tick off , check off :

Mark off each of the names on the list as I call them out.

3 . British English to make something or someone different from other things or people of a similar type SYN distinguish

mark somebody/something ↔ off from

Sara’s natural flair for languages marked her off from the other students.

mark somebody/something ↔ out phrasal verb

1 . to show the shape or position of something by drawing lines around it:

A volleyball court had been marked out on the grass.

2 . British English to make someone or something seem very different from or better than other similar people or things

mark somebody/something out as something

His stunning victory marked him out as the very best horse of his era.

mark somebody out for something

She seemed marked out for success.

mark something ↔ up phrasal verb

1 . to increase the price of something, so that you sell it for more than you paid for it OPP mark down :

Compact discs may be marked up as much as 80%.

⇨ ↑ mark-up

2 . to write notes or instructions for changes on a piece of writing, music etc:

I have to mark up the pages and send them back to the printer.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.