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benchmark

[bench-mahrk] /ˈbɛntʃˌmɑrk/
noun
1.
a standard of excellence, achievement, etc., against which similar things must be measured or judged:
The new hotel is a benchmark in opulence and comfort.
2.
any standard or reference by which others can be measured or judged:
The current price for crude oil may become the benchmark.
3.
Computers. an established point of reference against which computers or programs can be measured in tests comparing their performance, reliability, etc.
4.
Surveying. Usually, bench mark. a marked point of known or assumed elevation from which other elevations may be established.
Abbreviation: BM.
adjective
5.
of, pertaining to, or resulting in a benchmark:
benchmark test, benchmark study.
verb (used with object)
6.
to test (something) in order to develop a standard:
IT benchmarked the new software.
7.
to measure (something) against a standard:
executive salaries benchmarked against the industry.
Also, bench mark.
Origin
1835-1845
1835-45; bench + mark1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bench-mark

benchmark

/ˈbɛntʃˌmɑːk/
noun
1.
a mark on a stone post or other permanent feature, at a point whose exact elevation and position is known: used as a reference point in surveying BM
2.
  1. a criterion by which to measure something; standard; reference point
  2. (as modifier) a benchmark test
verb
3.
to measure or test against a benchmark the firm benchmarked its pay against that in industry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bench-mark
benchmark
"surveyor's point of reference," 1838, from a specialized surveyors' use of bench; figurative sense is from 1884.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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