\ 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 Locadia scored on his March 1 FC Cincinnati debut in a head-turning appearance off the bench in the club's season-opening loss to New York Red Bulls. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, "Jaap Stam: FC Cincinnati's Jürgen Locadia injured, could miss 'a couple of weeks'," 7 July 2020 Thomas, who has been on the bench longer than any other sitting justice, had previously made comments in various opinions seeming to lay the framework for a full-frontal assault on Roe v. Wade. Fox News, "Thomas tears into abortion precedent, says Roe v. Wade should fall in dissent on Louisiana case," 29 June 2020 Kaepernick first sat on the bench during a preseason game, but at the suggestion of a former Green Beret, Kaepernick began to kneel. Allen Kim, CNN, "Carolina Panthers coach becomes 2nd to say he may kneel alongside his players," 26 June 2020 As a freshman, Tagovailoa came off the bench to lead Alabama from a 13-0 halftime deficit to a 26-23 overtime victory against Georgia in the CFP national championship game. Mark Inabinett |, al, "How does Tua Tagovailoa deal with social-media trolls?," 25 June 2020 Some reloading processes put a lot of pressure on the bench. Bryce M. Towsley, Field & Stream, "7 Money Saving Tips for Reloaders," 23 June 2020 Walker, who is young and conservative, is seen as the epitome of the type of nominees who McConnell and President Donald Trump are trying to put on the bench. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "Senate panel confirms McConnell protege Justin Walker for nation's No. 2 court," 4 June 2020 The court is allowing up to 60 days for briefs to be filed and if the full time is used, there could be a new justice on the bench. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Trump declares "we will dominate the streets"," 1 June 2020 The vote to confirm Wilson is the culmination of the push by Mr. Trump, with the crucial assistance of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to reshape the federal bench and install conservative jurists who will make a lasting impact on U.S. law. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Senate confirms Trump's 200th judicial nominee, filling all circuit court vacancies," 24 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Murphy currently is the Milwaukee Brewers bench coach. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "Pat Murphy's son Kai headed back to ASU baseball," 27 June 2020 Nothing can trap a program a notch below its peak like a quarterback who is too successful to bench yet doesn’t provide any real chance of getting over the top. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Could Michigan football find its version of Dwayne Haskins this season? Buckeye Take," 8 June 2020 Big Ben led the league in passing yards (career-high 5,129) but was at loggerheads with Brown, who was benched for the regular-season finale even though the collapsing Steelers were still vying for a playoff spot. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Nine NFL teams throughout history that deserve 'The Last Dance' treatment," 18 May 2020 Dalton leapfrogs Anderson in win over Jets A tumultuous 2019 season saw Dalton get benched for rookie quarterback Ryan Finley after an 0-8 start as the winless Bengals plummeted toward the No. Shelby Dermer,, "Andy Dalton's most memorable moments from his time with the Cincinnati Bengals," 30 Apr. 2020 Dalton was the starter the past nine seasons, but was benched after Week 8 in favor on Ryan Finley in 2019. oregonlive, "5 reasons why Justin Herbert should frown if the Cincinnati Bengals select him in the 2020 NFL draft," 10 Apr. 2020 That’s why columnist Bill Plaschke says that leagues should stop their wild plans to return soon and deal with a realistic chance the sports world will be benched until 2021. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Stay-at-home, here to stay a while," 9 Apr. 2020 Any test that can accurately detect 85 percent of coronavirus-positive cases and has an 80 percent compliance rate would be enough to reduce the Ro of coronavirus to under one without benching a vast swath of America's workforce. Shikha Dalmia, TheWeek, "America's national priority should be a home coronavirus test," 6 Apr. 2020 Breakfast nook One of the coziest looks for an eat-in kitchen is a breakfast nook, surrounded by built-in or bench seating. Sarah Lloyd, Good Housekeeping, "How to Design a Classic Kitchen That Will Stand the Test of Time," 16 Mar. 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

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bench.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 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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