\ ˈbench How to pronounce bench (audio) \

Definition of bench

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a long seat for two or more persons
b : a thwart in a boat
c(1) : a seat on which the members of an athletic team await a turn or opportunity to play
(2) : the reserve players on a team broadly : a reserve force
2a : the seat where a judge sits in court
b : the place where justice is administered : court
c : the office or dignity of a judge sat on the bench for 20 years
d : the persons who sit as judges
3a : the office or dignity of an official
b : a seat for an official
c : the officials occupying a bench
4a : a long worktable also : laboratory bench chemist bench test
b : a table forming part of a machine
5 : terrace, shelf: such as
a : a former wave-cut shore of a sea or lake or floodplain of a river
b : a shelf or ridge formed in working an open excavation on more than one level
6 : a compartmented platform on which dogs or cats are kept at a show when not being judged


benched; benching; benches

Definition of bench (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish with benches
2a : to seat on a bench
b(1) : to remove from or keep out of a game broadly : to remove from use or from a position
(2) : to remove from the starting lineup
3 : to exhibit (dogs or cats) to the public on a bench
4 : to lift (a weight) in a bench press bench 200 pounds

intransitive verb

: to form a bench by natural processes


biographical name
\ ˈbench How to pronounce Bench (audio) \

Definition of Bench (Entry 3 of 3)

Johnny (Lee) 1947–     American baseball player

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Synonyms for bench

Synonyms: Noun

adjudicator, beak [chiefly British], court, judge, jurist, justice, magistrate

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Examples of bench in a Sentence


The lawyer asked if he could approach the bench. her recent appointment to the bench


The manager benched one of his most popular players.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Jurickson Profar, who started Friday night and hit a solo home run, returns to the bench. Ron Kroichick,, "Franklin Barreto rejoins A’s lineup, seeking good pitches to hit," 13 July 2019 Montalto ordered a break for jury deliberations, and returned to the bench four hours later, to read out the verdict. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "An Absurd Case of Mistaken Identity Draws to a Close," 13 July 2019 The three-judge panel reviewing the case in Washington at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is made up of Judges David S. Tatel, Patricia A. Millett and Neomi Rao, a recent Trump nominee to the bench. Washington Post, "Trump’s bid to block congressional subpoena for business records set to return to court," 12 July 2019 Having been restricted to the bench in the first game of the tournament, a humbling defeat to Colombia, Martinez went on to start the following four matches, scoring twice to help Argentina into the semi-finals., "Lautaro Martinez: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle for Barcelona," 12 July 2019 After staying down for a little bit after the buzzer, Windler was helped up and walked over to the bench to explain to members of the training staff what happened. Chris Fedor,, "Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Dylan Windler exits summer league game vs. New Orleans Pelicans early, as team wraps up preliminary play," 10 July 2019 McConnell also has singlehandedly ushered in a wave of conservative judges to the federal bench. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "5 things to know about Amy McGrath vs. Mitch McConnell in the 2020 Senate race," 9 July 2019 Mehta was nominated to the federal bench by former President Barack Obama. CBS News, "Judge blocks Trump initiative requiring drug ads to reveal prices," 9 July 2019 He was sworn in to the Superior Court bench on Nov. 13, 1992, after being nominated by former Gov. Jim Florio. New York Times, "Judge Gets Threats After Saying Teenager in Rape Case Was From ‘Good Family’," 8 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Dodgers used them often, even benching Cody Bellinger against lefty David Price in Game 5 of the 2018 World Series, an elimination game. Henry Schulman,, "Giants new outfield platoon has no room for Steven Duggar, who will stay in minors," 3 July 2019 The day’s first surprise comes from Jill Ellis, who has benched Megan Rapinoe in favor of Christen Press on the left wing. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "How the U.S. Beat England to Reach the World Cup Final," 2 July 2019 Questions were raised about Japan’s strategy, as Hasegawa was benched in the first round, then returned to combine effectively with former Boston Breaker left back Aya Sameshima in this match. Frank Dell’apa,, "European clubs continue to flex their power," 25 June 2019 After attending community design meetings, Betsy Thompson expected a shady tree grove, rolling berms for toddlers to crawl over and bench-style seating. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "St. Paul spends $340,000 for playground renovation, but some parents not pleased," 17 June 2019 There’s even an article in a local paper at the time, which details Thompson benching his best player, Jody Wheeler, for oversleeping and missing a team bus. Sam Blum |,, "An inside look at the 1st team Butch Thompson took to a College World Series 22 years ago," 13 June 2019 But multiple sources familiar with the case, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter, said Monday that wasn’t the reason Le was benched. Robert Salonga, The Mercury News, "Former Santa Clara County jail union president placed on leave amid vague circumstances," 3 June 2019 The striker was one of the world's finest in 1994, but Parreira opted to bench him., "Carlos Alberto Parreira: The World Cup Hero's All-Time Best XI," 26 June 2019 Last Man Standing isn’t the only show being benched. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Fox Won't Air 'Last Man Standing' Season 8 Until 2020," 13 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bench.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bench


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

History and Etymology for bench


Middle English, from Old English benc; akin to Old High German bank bench

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Statistics for bench

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bench

The first known use of bench was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for bench



English Language Learners Definition of bench

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long and usually hard seat for two or more people
: the place where a judge sits in a court of law
: the position or rank of a judge



English Language Learners Definition of bench (Entry 2 of 2)

US, sports : to not allow (a player) to play in a game : to put (a player) on the bench


\ ˈbench How to pronounce bench (audio) \

Kids Definition of bench

1 : a long seat for two or more persons a park bench
2 : a long table for holding work and tools a carpenter's bench
3 : the position or rank of a judge



Legal Definition of bench

1 : the place where a judge sits in court asked counsel to approach the bench — compare bar sense 1a, dock, jury box, sidebar, stand
2 : the court or system of courts serving an area the federal bench
3a : the office of a judge appointed to the bench
b : the body of persons who hold positions as judges members of the bench and bar — compare bar sense 2a
c : a judge or panel of judges hearing a case unless the lawyer is responding to a question from the bench— R. H. Bork

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More from Merriam-Webster on bench

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bench

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bench

Spanish Central: Translation of bench

Nglish: Translation of bench for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bench for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bench

Comments on bench

What made you want to look up bench? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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