Sense: 1-20, 22
Origin: Old English mearc 'border, edge, sign'
Sense: 21
Date: 1800-1900
Language: German


1 noun
Related topics: Currencies
mark1 S3 W2 [countable]


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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

student's work

especially British English a letter or number given by a teacher to show how good a student's work is [= 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)

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.

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

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.

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.

off the mark/wide of the mark

not correct [= inaccurate]:
Our cost estimate was way off the mark.

be a mark of something

to show that someone or something is a particular thing, has a particular quality etc [= be a sign of something]:
The ability to perform well under pressure is the mark of a true champion.

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.

Mark 2/6 etc


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) TMTDH a measurement used in Britain for the temperature of a gas oven:
Cook for 40 minutes at gas mark 6.

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.

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.

not up to the mark

British English
a) not good enough:
Her work just isn't up to the mark.
b) old-fashionedMI not well and healthy:
I'm not feeling quite up to the mark today.

the halfway mark

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

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.

on your mark(s), get set, go!

spokenDS said in order to start a race


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


old use a sign in the form of a cross, used by someone who is not able to write their name
! Do not use mark when you mean a particular type of product. 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

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