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Alternative forms[edit]


From bench +‎ mark. Originally (attested circa 1842) a mark cut into a stone by land surveyors to secure a "bench" (from 19th century land surveying jargon, meaning a type of bracket), to mount measuring equipment. Figurative sense attested circa 1884.[1]


  • IPA(key): /ˈbɛn(t)ʃmɑːk/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: bench‧mark


benchmark (plural benchmarks)

  1. A standard by which something is evaluated or measured.
    • 2013 September 20, Marina Hyde, The Guardian[1]:
      Is the pope Catholic? Forgive the posing of a question that is usually rhetorical, the absolute benchmark of certainty, and traditionally regarded as even more settled than the one pertaining to the lavatorial arrangements of bears.
  2. A surveyor's mark made on some stationary object and shown on a map; used as a reference point.
  3. (computing) A computer program that is executed to assess the performance of the runtime environment.

Derived terms[edit]



benchmark (third-person singular simple present benchmarks, present participle benchmarking, simple past and past participle benchmarked)

  1. (transitive) To measure the performance or quality of (an item) relative to another similar item in an impartial scientific manner.
    1. (intransitive, followed by at) To give certain results in a benchmark test.
    2. (transitive, intransitive, followed by against) To use something (e.g., a competitor's product) as a standard to improve one's own thing.


Derived terms[edit]