a black mark

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a black mark

A long-lasting negative impact of a mistake. 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

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

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

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