mark

{{11}}mark (n.1) "trace, impression," O.E. mearc (W.Saxon), merc (Mercian) "boundary, sign, limit, mark," from P.Gmc. *marko (Cf. O.N. merki "boundary, sign," mörk "forest," which often marked a frontier; O.Fris. merke, Goth. marka "boundary, frontier," Du. merk "mark, brand," Ger. Mark "boundary, boundary land"), from PIE *merg- "edge, boundary, border" (Cf. L. margo "margin;" Avestan mareza- "border," O.Ir. mruig, Ir. bruig "borderland," Welsh bro "district").
The primary sense is probably "boundary," which had evolved by O.E. through "sign of a boundary," through "sign in general," then to "impression or trace forming a sign." Meaning "any visible trace or impression" first recorded c.1200. Sense of "line drawn to indicate starting point of a race" (e.g. on your marks ...) first attested 1887. The M.E. sense of "target" (c.1200) is the notion in MARKSMAN (Cf. marksman) and slang sense "victim of a swindle" (1883). The notion of "sign, token" is behind the meaning "numerical award given by a teacher" (1829). Influenced by Scandinavian cognates.
{{12}}mark (n.2) "unit of money or weight," late O.E. marc, a unit of weight (chiefly for gold or silver) equal to about eight ounces, probably from O.N. mörk "unit of weight," cognate with Ger. Mark, probably ultimately a derivative of MARK (Cf. mark) (n.1), perhaps in sense of "imprinted weight or coin." Used from 18c. in reference to various continental coinages, especially. the silver coin of Germany first issued 1875.
{{12}}mark (v.) "to put a mark on," O.E. mearcian (W.Saxon), merciga (Anglian) "to trace out boundaries," from P.Gmc. *markojanan (Cf. O.N. merkja, O.S. markon, O.Fris. merkia, O.H.G. marchon, Ger. merken "to mark, note," M.Du., Du. merken), from the root of MARK (Cf. mark) (n.1). Influenced by Scandinavian cognates. Meaning "to have a mark" is from c.1400; that of "to notice, observe" is late 14c. Meaning "to put a numerical price on an object for sale" led to verbal phrase mark down (1859). Mark time (1833) is from military drill. Related: MARKED (Cf. Marked); MARKING (Cf. marking). Old French merchier "to mark, note, stamp, brand" is a Germanic loan-word.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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