E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Mark of the Beast (The).
To set the mark of the beast on an object or pursuit is to denounce it, to run it down as unorthodox. Thus, many persons set the mark of the beast on theatres, some on dancing, and others on gambling, races, cards, dice, etc. The allusion is to Revelation xvi. 2; xix. 23.