\ 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

Later, in the dugout, James finds the pitcher on the bench., "From the Editor: Until you experience it, it's hard to comprehend the hidden costs of being poor," 13 June 2019 Teal Bunbury had a 25-game scoreless streak spanning two seasons before Arena’s first match on the bench. Frank Dell’apa,, "Revolution have regained their confidence under Bruce Arena," 13 June 2019 After allegations of a common pleas judge drunk on the bench, the state will review his cases. Liz Dufour,, "State to review up to 2,700 court cases after allegations of judge's alcoholism," 13 June 2019 This meant Minnesota had three vacant spots on the bench. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Minnesota United ends slumps in 4-1 win over Kansas City in U.S. Open Cup," 12 June 2019 Schneider retired in 1997 after 20 years on the bench in Jefferson County. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Nursing home, pharmacy to pay family nearly $13M in retired judge's death," 11 June 2019 However, that assumption overlooks the fact that Durant doesn’t necessarily make the choice to not join his teammates on the bench. Connor Letourneau,, "Why the injured Kevin Durant doesn’t sit on the bench during Warriors games," 9 June 2019 The roster move left the Angels short a man on the bench, making Tommy La Stella the backup for first baseman Pujols. Maria Torres,, "Jose Suarez will make another spot start for Angels against Mariners," 8 June 2019 Montgomery already has a fan on the court The governor, who has appointed more state Supreme Court justices than any of his predecessors, has place only Republicans and independents on the bench as well, despite receiving bipartisan shortlists. Maria Polletta, azcentral, "Bill Montgomery trying for Arizona Supreme Court seat — again," 3 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And Pascal Siakam, whom coach Nick Nurse benched at the end of Game 5, responded with 26 points and 10 rebounds, playing all but 110 seconds of Game 6. Dan Woike,, "Toronto Raptors dethrone the Golden State Warriors to win their first NBA title," 13 June 2019 Thompson benched most of his starters for Game 2, then required the whole team to do sprints when the doubleheader was over inside the school’s gym. Sam Blum |,, "An inside look at the 1st team Butch Thompson took to a College World Series 22 years ago," 13 June 2019 Following that, Harrison was benched and did not play another down. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Report: Arizona Cardinals adding Desmond Harrison with waiver claim to help offensive line," 6 June 2019 Both MacGyver and Man with a Plan are being benched, too. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Criminal Minds' Is Losing Its Wednesday Night Spot to Shemar Moore's 'S.W.A.T.'," 18 May 2019 Goalie Braden Holtby was benched at the start of the playoffs, but earned his job back, and now has won 12 playoff games. Kevin Allen, USA TODAY, "Capitals defeat Lightning in Game 7 to reach first Stanley Cup Final since 1998," 23 May 2018 The next day, the players debated Butler’s benching and reviewed highlights to understand how Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles pulled off that fourth-and-goal trick play. Jacob Feldman,, "Football Meets Fútbol: World Cup Heightens Stars' Overlap, Mutual Admiration," 31 May 2018 The last time the Eagles drafted just six players was in 2015, the year Howie Roseman was benched and Chip Kelly ran everything. Les Bowen,, "Slim pickings this year for the Eagles? Their draft situation is historically bad," 22 Apr. 2018 Williams was benched after three starts in 2016, and Boehm lost his starting job after five weeks a year ago. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals' General Manager Steve Keim's NFL drafts haven't always been 'Keim Time'," 20 Apr. 2018

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

18 Jun 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).


showing courage and determination

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