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bench·​mark ˈbench-ˌmärk How to pronounce benchmark (audio)
: 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
: a point of reference from which measurements may be made
: a standardized problem or test that serves as a basis for evaluation or comparison (as of computer system performance)
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


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benchmarked; benchmarking; benchmarks

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
The new creative message comes as Angel Ai has become the industry benchmark as a financial personal assistant. Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2024 Even with this week’s rebound, equity benchmarks are still among this year’s worst performers among more than 90 global gauges tracked by Bloomberg. Bloomberg, Fortune Asia, 6 Feb. 2024 The regional index, however, has lagged global benchmarks for several years. Ryan Hogg, Fortune Europe, 6 Feb. 2024 The current best estimate for when Earth will surpass the 1.5-degree benchmark is between now and 2040, according to the IPCC’s 6th climate change assessment, released last year. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 1 Feb. 2024 Friday’s jobs report also will include the final annual benchmark review of payroll data for the 12 months that ended in March 2023. Alicia Wallace, CNN, 1 Feb. 2024 But a recent economic analysis shows despite the uptick in visits and activity, several key benchmarks took a hit in the Gem State and across the U.S. last year. Nicole Blanchard, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 West Texas Intermediate, the US crude benchmark, gained $1.04, or 1.35% on Tuesday, settling at $77.82 a barrel. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 31 Jan. 2024 Innovative Empty Leg Alerts and Jet 1 Suite Management In its endeavor to set new standards, Avian Solutions has meticulously developed a bespoke operations management system for Royal Air Charter, establishing a new benchmark in operational efficiency. Kansas City Star, 30 Jan. 2024
In fact, Apple uses a group of its competitors, including Meta, Netflix, Visa, and Cisco, to benchmark its executives’ compensation. Dylan Sloan, Fortune, 8 Feb. 2024 This can help benchmark your results and use this data to inform future strategies with more confidence. Alison Bringé, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 The first step here is to benchmark what cheap means. David Trainer, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2023 Once a year, the BLS also benchmarks the March payrolls level to a more accurate but less timely data source called the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Reade Pickert,, 22 Aug. 2023 Job seekers want record-high wages — and men expect $25,000 more than women do Every year, the BLS conducts a revision to the data from its monthly survey of businesses’ payrolls, then benchmarks the March employment level to those measured by the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program. Alicia Wallace, CNN, 23 Aug. 2023 Never missing an opportunity to impose price controls on anything and everything, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants to use this legislation to benchmark the price of innovative medicines that received some federal support at the basic research stage to the prices in the other G-7 nations. Wayne Winegarden, Forbes, 17 July 2023 This year, organizers will use the event to benchmark the beginning of the 75th anniversary of Saint Joseph Parish. Jshortavon, cleveland, 17 July 2023 So finding a way to benchmark these behemoths was important. IEEE Spectrum, 28 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'benchmark.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1813, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of benchmark was in 1813

Dictionary Entries Near benchmark

Cite this Entry

“Benchmark.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


usually bench mark : a mark on a permanent object indicating elevation and serving as a reference in geological surveys
: something (as a test) that can be used as a standard to check other things (as computer programs) against

More from Merriam-Webster on benchmark

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