black mark

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black mark

A lasting negative opinion or effect resulting from a mistake or failure. Jerry's speeding ticket was a black mark on his driving record that prevented him from getting a job as a delivery man. They let me keep my job after I got caught, but the transgression became a black mark against me for the rest of my career.
See also: black, mark
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

black mark

An indication of censure or failure, as in If you refuse to work late, won't that be a black mark against you? This phrase alludes to a literal black mark, such as a cross, that was put next to a person's name, indicating that he or she had incurred a rebuke or penalty of some kind. [Mid-1800s]
See also: black, mark
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a black mark

COMMON If you get a black mark, people form a bad opinion of you as a result of something that you have done. Any complaints to the boss and you got a black mark straight away. I drive a big car so that's another black mark against me as far as Amy is concerned. Note: This expression may refer to a practice in schools in the past. If children behaved badly, the teacher put black marks against their names on a list.
See also: black, mark
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a black ˈmark (against somebody)

(British English) something that somebody has done which makes other people dislike or disapprove of them: It was another black mark against her that she had not gone to the last meeting. OPPOSITE: brownie points
See also: black, mark
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
In consequence of this bad fashion, a man, who is too conscientious to misspend his days among the women, in learning the names of black marks, may never hear of the deeds of his fathers, nor feel a pride in striving to outdo them.
Margaret, you've got black marks again under your eyes.
Luckily, Richard said the black mark would soon fade - and she was visibly relieved."
I turned the frame round and saw a big black mark and condensation on the inside of the frame.
'Trump's December 6 [2017] decision left a new black mark in the US history,' said Hasan Turan, head of the parliament's Turkey-Palestine parliamentary friendship group, while talking to reporters at the parliament.
Iran supports any solution for ending the century big humanitarian plight that can turn into a black mark remembered in the history, Qasemi said.
He was the founder of the Suthra sect, which means pure, and was a respected vagrant in the times of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir." "It is said that Jhinger was born with a black mark on his forehead and for that reason was considered unlucky by his family and was abandoned.
It is compatible with a wide range of paper, polyester, polypropylene, and vinyl label stocks, and supports gap, black mark and continuous media.
But more than stressing the perjury committed by lawyer Larry Gadon who lied under oath about having 'personal knowledge' of his impeachment charges against Sereno that turned out to be all 'hearsay,' the title should have been 'Black mark on the Supreme Court.'
This is a serious black mark on the morality of this nation.
The incident is expected to be a black mark on what has been Canada's best performance at a Winter Olympics with 28 medals won.
Melanie is a young woman living in England who noticed one day that she had a black mark under her thumb.
But it's the "Scarlet Letter" measure that's drawing the most scrutiny, with some critics warning that such a black mark on a student's transcript will affect the student's life and employment long after he or she leaves college.
The only black mark for the Merseysiders was the sending-off of John Stones in the 63rd minute.
Aleksandra Mitevska comments for Utrinski vesnik that eight months after the tumultuous events in and outside the Parliament and nearly half year since the achievement of the political agreement for recovering from the crisis, the Macedonian politics fails to find a definition for the events that left a black mark on the democratic processes and political communication in the country.