\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for bench

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Danielson said Saban is able to convince players that coming to Alabama, sitting on the bench and practicing for two, even three seasons, against top talent is the best course. Edgar Thompson,, 16 Sep. 2021 Lions safety Tracy Walker came over to quell the confrontation, and linebacker Alex Anzalone stepped in front of Pleasant as Okudah sat on the bench. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 16 Sep. 2021 The Competition Isn’t Waiting Going back to our sports analogy, most people on a competitive team start out on the bench. Pia Silva, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 Ana Margarita Ríos Farjat, one of only three women on the bench, also spoke forcefully against the Coahuila law before casting her vote. Rafael Romo, CNN, 13 Sep. 2021 When Sykes is on the court, the Sparks’ defensive rating is 94.5 compared to 102.8 when she’s on the bench. Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2021 On the bench, veterans and young players alternated seats so the older players could share insight during games., 10 Sep. 2021 Jiménez was on the bench when he got hit by Andrew Vaughn’s liner into the dugout. Lamond Pope,, 9 Sep. 2021 Two years ago, when Udoka left San Antonio and made a lateral move to become an assistant in Philadelphia, he was replaced on the front row of the Spurs’ bench by Hardy. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, 9 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Roberts, a 16-year-old junior, is a true man-child who can bench 440 pounds and squat 500. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, 4 Sep. 2021 Scott arrived at Pinellas Park High School as a 5-foot-11, 275-pound freshman who bench pressed just 135 pounds. oregonlive, 30 Apr. 2021 Cora was the Houston Astros bench coach at the time., 20 Aug. 2021 That excitement and urgency permeated the Team W.N.B.A. bench throughout the league’s All-Star Game in Las Vegas on Wednesday. New York Times, 15 July 2021 Tinkle also landed on Aug. 25 because Colorado bench coach Mike Redmond is a friend from Spokane. oregonlive, 9 July 2021 News of the trade will certainly be bittersweet for Timbers fans as the 24-year-old striker has been a fan favorite and fixture on the Timbers bench since 2017 when he was acquired by Portland in a MLS draft day trade. oregonlive, 4 Aug. 2021 Indians bench coach DeMarlo Hale is filling in with Francona out. Tom Withers, Star Tribune, 25 July 2021 Eldridge calmly delivered a pitch past the swinging Gigante as the Falcons bench and traveling fans erupted., 26 June 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best outdoor furniture of 2021.

Learn More About bench

Time Traveler for bench

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near bench

Bence-Jones protein



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bench

Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bench.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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)

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on bench

Nglish: Translation of bench for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!