a black mark against (one)

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a black mark against (one)

A long-lasting negative impact of a mistake that harms one's reputation. Jerry's speeding ticket was a black mark on his driving record that prevented him from getting a job as a delivery man.
See also: black, mark

a black mark against someone

something that someone has done that is disliked or disapproved of by other people.
The literal meaning of the phrase is a black cross or spot marked against the name of a person who has done something wrong.
See also: black, mark, someone