\ 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

Hyde had managed a big league game just once previously, as Florida Marlins bench coach filling in during a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay in June 2011 after Edwin Rodriguez quit. Ronald Blum, The Seattle Times, "Hyde gets 1st win as manager, Orioles beat Yankees 5-3," 31 Mar. 2019 No matter how philosophical or emotional the arguments may be, all good bench racing comes down to the numbers. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "2020 Toyota Supra and Chevrolet Camaro V-6 1LE by the Numbers: A Tale of Two Sixes and an $18K Price Difference," 16 May 2019 The decision by the Texas Supreme Court, where Republicans hold every seat on the bench, doesn’t change operations at the nation’s busiest death chamber because state lawmakers banned the disclosure of drug suppliers for executions starting in 2015. Paul J. Weber, The Seattle Times, "Texas’ high court keeps execution drug supplier secret," 13 Apr. 2019 Now Garnier is using the 11 million bottles collected thus far to build garden beds, benches, signs, and trash bins for community gardens. Megan Mcintyre, Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "11 New Innovations in Sustainable Beauty from Around the Globe," 18 Apr. 2019 The hotel is coming on the heels, too, of some smart urban planning, with the firm Snøhetta doing wayfinding, new pedestrian walkways, benches, and more in Times Square. Spencer Bailey, Town & Country, "Ian Schrager on His Latest Luxury Hotel: "Why Not Times Square?"," 16 Apr. 2019 Advertising The Clippers count heavily on their talented, versatile bench, too. Janie Mccauley, The Seattle Times, "Fresh off loss at Golden State, Clippers return for playoffs," 13 Apr. 2019 Saturn keeps the score and plays by the rules, and with this stabilizing planet on the bench, the rules become a bit more flexible. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What April’s Gemini Horoscope Means for You," 31 Mar. 2019 There are no rules that dictate what judges or justices must wear on the bench, nor is there even a common source for Supreme Court robes. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Happy Birthday, Ruth Bader Ginsberg! An Ode to the Supreme Court Justice and Her Iconic Accessorizing," 15 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 But benching Butler and losing the game in the fashion the Patriots did may cause a few players in his locker room to second-guess his decisions from here on out. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "Patriots player likes Instagram post ripping Bill Belichick for benching Malcolm Butler," 5 Feb. 2018 Monday marks Nurkic's first game back at the Pepsi Center since his rocky two and a half seasons in Denver ended with him getting benched and demanding a trade last season. Sean Meagher,, "Trail Blazers postgame report: Jusuf Nurkic set to face former team," 21 Jan. 2018 Smith and Nelson each benched 225 pounds 35 times at the combine, tied for second behind Will Hernandez of UTEP (who went to the Giants with the second pick of the second round). Nat Newell, Indianapolis Star, "Get to know Colts second round pick Braden Smith, another offensive lineman," 27 Apr. 2018 Locker was benched before the calendar even turned to October. Greg Bishop,, "Why Jake Locker Walked Away From Football—and Why He Doesn’t Miss It," 18 Apr. 2018 As of early 2017, the bill has been benched and moved to the State Affairs committee for further discussion. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Reminder: Daylight saving time begins Sunday," 9 Mar. 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

4 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

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