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 ?
At last a black mark was found upon our door, and a great panic ensued, for we felt that now our time had come.
As to your practice, if a gentleman walks into my rooms smelling of iodoform, with a black mark of nitrate of silver upon his right forefinger, and a bulge on the right side of his top-hat to show where he has secreted his stethoscope, I must be dull, indeed, if I do not pronounce him to be an active member of the medical profession."
The 58-year-old might be a local boy after growing up on Tyneside, but his two-year spell as coach of Newcastle's fierce rivals Sunderland and a mediocre record as a Premier League manager are major black marks for an already angry fan base.
She noticed tyre marks on the grass, and black marks have also been left on the Bart Simpson figurine that lies near the headstone in memory of her son.
QI'VE got black marks on my lino from a chair with rubber feet.
Instead, a rare congenital skin condition covering much of her upper body in black marks and hair has made her the object of ridicule in her village, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) south of Baghdad.
Raul Palabrica wrote about the Supreme Court lecturing lower courts to encourage amicable settlement among litigants, in light of the open bickering between Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno who are the main protagonists in the catfight ('Black marks on the law profession,' 4/20/18).
QWE have a light oak front door and, despite being treated with exterior varnish, the wet has got into the wood and caused black marks.
Q We have a light oak front door and, despite being treated with exterior varnish, the wet has got into the wood and caused black marks. Could we sand and paint it or would a wood staining treatment be better?
The stances taken during these moments will be marks of honor or black marks that a government will carry forever.
WHAT'S the best way of removing the black marks on the silicon around the bath and shower?
Head yellow with upper part of occiput, frons centrally, and vertex black, mesosoma (Figure 3) yellow, mesoscutum with three longitudinal black stripes joining with the hind margin; scutellum yellow, posteriorlly black marked; mesopleuron with a diagonal black band; sternauli black marked; propodeum (Figure 4) with black marks anteriorly and centrally; metasoma with tergite I centrally pale, proximally and distally blackish, the other tergites are yellowish brown, dorsally blackish.
Dhanorkar was arrested here today for physically abusing her 10-year-old maid, but the former's lawyer said the black marks and swelling on the child's face were created by bee stings and the burn scars on her forearms were caused by boiling water falling on her.
Both copper sulfide and silver sulfide can form black marks on the skin.