The intense suffering of this experience left a lasting stamp on Dostoevsky’s mind.

(the author talks about Dostoevsky's experience of being condemned to death and then spared at the last minute by his Majesty)

I know that one of the synonyms for the word stamp is "mark" but I don't know if it can be used when referring to people as I couldn't find any examples or definitions stating that.

2 Answers 2


In this case a synonym for "stamp" is "impression," like the shape pressed into a blob of sealing wax by a personal stamp:

image of a blob of red sealing wax pressed with a rose design, and the stamp used to make the design

The idiom is "to have something pressed into one's mind" or "...imprinted on one's mind." It means that the experience is strongly remembered and has a long-term effect on the person, as if something had physically stamped the information or memory onto the person's brain.


The obvious alternative is “impression.”

  • 1
    We sometimes say that a traumatic experience 'marked someone for life'. Aug 8, 2021 at 12:46
  • @MichaelHarvey We do indeed, but I have not heard “mark someone’s mind.” That is the problem with set phrases; some variations seem pleasing, and others just sound weird. Aug 8, 2021 at 20:47

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