\ 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

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Examples of bench in a Sentence

Noun The lawyer asked if he could approach the bench. her recent appointment to the bench Verb The manager benched one of his most popular players.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Junior guard Jimmie Williams came off the bench and scored eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, including back-to-back steals that widened a three-point lead to seven with about a minute to go. Matt Goul, cleveland, "No. 12 Solon turns away Harvey, 48-40: Saturday’s boys basketball scoreboard," 9 Feb. 2020 When the team hosted the USA women’s team in the days after the tragedy, Auriemma left a spot on the bench and a uniform jersey for Gigi, and when the Huskies played Oregon, Auriemma wore a Kobe jersey under his own sport coat. Tara Sullivan,, "After Mookie Betts’s departure, our attention turns to Tom Brady," 8 Feb. 2020 Hardman had come off the bench in the previous match-up and rang up 18 points in December. Scott Springer,, "Lakota East manufactures a win over Princeton to hold serve in GMC basketball," 8 Feb. 2020 They were outrebounded, outscored from the bench and in the paint, even at the free-throw line. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "IU basketball heading in the wrong direction at the worst possible time," 8 Feb. 2020 Looney will come off the bench and be limited to 20 minutes. Connor Letourneau,, "Warriors’ Kevon Looney to return from ab injury vs. Cavaliers," 1 Feb. 2020 In the bathrooms, one of the most potentially dangerous rooms for older adults, Ziga installed plenty of grab bars, built-in shower benches and oversize toilets for safety. Richard A. Marini,, "3 women built age-in-place compound to age together in Fair Oaks Ranch near San Antonio," 31 Jan. 2020 His ability to come off the bench and score was a huge benefit for the team early in the season. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball's season teeters on the brink, and now without their leader," 28 Jan. 2020 Republican presidents and senators, including President Trump and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, have advanced that work a great deal by putting conservative jurists on the bench, and especially on the Supreme Court. The Editors, National Review, "The March for Life Is a March for Truth," 24 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The impeachment trial benched the four senators running for president for most of January while most of their rivals for the nomination focused on Iowa. Nicole Sganga, CBS News, "New Hampshire voters shrug off Iowa caucuses fiasco," 5 Feb. 2020 My communications guy was benching like a monster while I was stuck with free weights. Bryan Box, The New Republic, "The Lies We Tell About Soldiers’ Traumatic Brain Injuries," 30 Jan. 2020 Marrone benched veteran quarterback Nick Foles in favor of rookie Gardner Minshew, hoping for a spark. Mark Long,, "Chargers end skid, hand Jaguars 5th straight lopsided loss," 8 Dec. 2019 Teams sometimes bench players if a trade is imminent, in order to avoid a deal-killing injury. Keith Pompey,, "On Bryan Colangelo's Twitter controversy, NBA sources say 'the damage is done'," 30 May 2018 Omlid isn't weight-room strong; barely benching 200 pounds. Nick Daschel,, "Western Oregon's Tanner Omlid lands two basketball All-American honors," 20 May 2017 In 2017, McAdoo made the controversial of benching Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith to end Manning’s 210-game consecutive starts streak. cleveland, "Ex-Giants head coach Ben McAdoo is at the Browns facility Friday interviewing for an offensive position, source says," 24 Jan. 2020 With Thompson benched after a fourth foul, Powell’s long 3-pointer lifted the Pirates back in front, 58-57, with 8:15 left. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Myles Powell pushes No. 18 Seton Hall past No. 5 Butler in Big East showdown," 16 Jan. 2020 Macdonald, Hosley and Pantovic all came off the bench to help the Seawolves outscore Simon Fraser’s bench 45-13. Anchorage Daily News, "Jack Macdonald’s near-perfect night sparks UAA men’s basketball team," 12 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for bench

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bench

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bench.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for bench


How to pronounce Bench (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bench

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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