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 Last week, the price of U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed above $88 a barrel for the first time since August. Rob Wile, NBC News, 21 Sep. 2022 In Asia, indexes mostly fell as Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.7%, Japan's Nikkei 225 index shed 1.4%, and China's benchmark Shanghai Composite was down 0.2%. WSJ, 21 Sep. 2022 Indeed, investors responded then by bidding up stock prices and buying bonds, which lowered rates on securities like the benchmark the 10-year Treasury. Christopher Rugaber, Fortune, 21 Sep. 2022 That's because houses in those areas have been valued $300,000 or below and are now trying to climb closer to the $365,054 benchmark, Zillow said. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 20 Sep. 2022 Rivera wants to see Ceremonia grow into a category-leading brand that helps other companies and founders understand the complexity and importance of today’s Latinx consumer, while also serving as a benchmark business for future minority founders. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 19 Sep. 2022 Indeed, investors responded then by bidding up stock prices and buying bonds, which lowered rates on securities like the benchmark the 10-year Treasury. Christopher Rugaber, Chicago Tribune, 19 Sep. 2022 Oil is traditionally a bigger component of the Russian budget than natural gas, and Brent crude prices — the European benchmark — have fallen about 25% since their peak in early June. Clare Sebastian, CNN, 15 Sep. 2022 Most economists now expect the Fed to raise its short-term benchmark fed funds rate next week by 0.75% for the third consecutive time. Medora Lee, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Trading volume has yet to recover, raising questions about the exchange's ability to accurately benchmark the price of nickel. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 12 July 2022 The vendors must also benchmark students’ academic levels and provide weekly progress reports to parents and schools. Caroline Beck, The Indianapolis Star, 24 Aug. 2022 There are many times when architects fail to identify and benchmark nonfunctional requirements such as scalability, security and performance. Mohit Mittal, Forbes, 12 Aug. 2022 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 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

24 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Benchmark.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on benchmark

Nglish: Translation of benchmark for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of benchmark for Arabic Speakers


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