A standard by which something can be measured or judged: "Inflation . . . is a great distorter of seemingly fixed economic ideas and benchmarks\u201d ( Benjamin M. Friedman). See Synonyms at standard. A surveyor's mark made on a stationary object of previously determined position and elevation and used as a reference point in tidal observations and surveys. To measure (a rival's product) according to specified standards in order to compare it with and improve one's own product.