a black mark

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.

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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