from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A mark indicating quality or excellence.
  • n. A mark used in England to stamp gold and silver articles that meet established standards of purity.
  • n. A conspicuous feature or characteristic: "The sense of guilt is the hallmark of civilized humanity” ( Theodor Reik).
  • transitive v. To stamp (gold and silver articles) with a mark indicating purity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A distinguishing characteristic.
  • n. An official marking made by a trusted party, usually an assay office, on items made of precious metals.
  • v. To provide or stamp with a hallmark


After Goldsmith's Hall in London, England, where gold and silver articles were appraised and stamped.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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