bench·​mark | \ ˈbench-ˌmärk How to pronounce benchmark (audio) \

Definition of benchmark

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something that serves as a standard by which others may be measured or judged a stock whose performance is a benchmark against which other stocks can be measured
b : a point of reference from which measurements may be made
c : a standardized problem or test that serves as a basis for evaluation or comparison (as of computer system performance)
2 usually bench mark : a mark on a permanent object (such as a concrete post set into the ground) indicating elevation and serving as a reference in topographic surveys and tidal observations


benchmarked; benchmarking; benchmarks

Definition of benchmark (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

business : to study (something, such as a competitor's product or business practices) in order to improve the performance of one's own company

Examples of benchmark in a Sentence

Noun a stock whose performance is a benchmark against which other stocks can be measured this prize-winning biography will be the benchmark against which all others will be judged in future years
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Health authorities use kindergarten inoculation as a benchmark, since vaccination against a series of diseases is often required for school. Brianna Abbott, WSJ, 31 July 2022 If the Red Sox were serious about using Olson’s $168 million deal as a benchmark for negotiations, Devers should have laughed in their face and quoted the great philosopher Jon Bon Jovi. Globe Staff,, 25 July 2022 The semiconductor industry is one of the most cyclical in the entire economy and serves as a growth benchmark for many economists. David Trainer, Forbes, 25 July 2022 Volkswagen's boss, who had constantly put Tesla on a pedestal as his benchmark for automotive innovation, is on his way out. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 25 July 2022 Last month, yields on the government’s debt, a measure of a country’s borrowing costs that also serve as a benchmark for other loans, rose sharply. New York Times, 20 July 2022 This weekend's Essence Festival will serve as a benchmark for post-COVID revelry in the city and could potentially backfire public safety-wise. Fox News, 1 July 2022 There will be 46 units and half of the tenants will not pay more than 30% of their income on rent — regarded as the federal benchmark for housing affordability. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, 23 June 2022 The UK Met Office analysis examined how climate change was altering the risk of such heat, using the record-setting event in April and May of 2010 — which this year is set to surpass — as a benchmark. Niha Masih, Washington Post, 18 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If the refining price had largely held steady, gas would still be expensive, but that benchmark $5-a-gallon figure would not have been breached — at least not yet. Dante Chinni, NBC News, 19 June 2022 Some enterprises fail to set clear goals in terms of end-user experience and don’t properly benchmark end-user experience before, during and after these migrations. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 15 June 2021 These portfolio tools leverage both historical and real-time production data combined with dynamic environmental data to benchmark potential and quantify results. Jim O'brien, Forbes, 30 June 2022 Since the pandemic’s early days, Americans have been taught to benchmark our risk of exposure to the virus by two metrics: proximity and duration. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 23 June 2022 Employ Google Analytics to benchmark your brand among your competitors and to reveal how readers are engaging with their websites. John Hall, Forbes, 5 June 2022 Russia's main Urals crude is priced in relation to benchmark Brent. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 9 May 2022 Russian government bonds were considered investment grade as recently as a few weeks ago, and were included in indexes used to benchmark other funds. New York Times, 15 Mar. 2022 Volume in trading has yet to recover, raising questions about the LME's ability to accurately benchmark the price of the metal. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 2 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'benchmark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of benchmark


1813, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1952, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of benchmark was in 1813

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Dictionary Entries Near benchmark



bench plane

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Benchmark.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of benchmark for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of benchmark for Arabic Speakers


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