touchstone or benchmark

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Senior Member
Catalan & Spanish
Hi everyone!!

I was wondering if there is any difference in usage or meaning between these two words!! Thanks in advance!

The foregoing doctrine affords us also a touchstone/benchmark for the trial of spirits.
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    From our dictionary:

    touchstone (tuch′stōn′), n.

    1. a test or criterion for the qualities of a thing.
    2. a black siliceous stone formerly used to test the purity of gold and silver by the color of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal.

    benchmark (bench′märk′), n.

    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. Computing: an established point of reference against which computers or programs can be measured in tests comparing their performance, reliability, etc.
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