bull·​pen | \ ˈbu̇l-ˌpen How to pronounce bullpen (audio) also ˈbəl-\
variants: or less commonly bull pen
plural bullpens also bull pens

Definition of bullpen

1 : a large cell where prisoners are detained until brought into court Commonly called the "bullpen," the court lockup is behind the courtroom and is used as a holding area for prisoners …— Bruce A, Scruton
2a : a place on a baseball field where pitchers warm up before they start pitching In the bullpen, Goose Gossage is warming up.— Tony Scherman
b : the relief pitchers of a baseball team After five innings Seattle led 14-2 and, with baseball's best bullpen waiting to protect the lead should starter Aaron Sele falter …Sports Illustrated
3 : an open work area not divided into offices … an alternative to the traditional combination of private offices for the brass and bullpens for the workers.— Carl Ruff

Examples of bullpen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Her model shows that these fault lines could be mitigated if players in the underrepresented group happened to be clustered together in similar roles (Latino players sitting together in the bull pen as relief pitchers, for example). Ben Rowen, The Atlantic, "Finding the Formula for Team Chemistry," 15 June 2018 Chapter 3 Noah, After Trial Day 9 Noah waited alone in the bull pen, a secured detention area of room-like cells on the bottom floor of the courthouse. Lisa Scottoline, Philly.com, "Lisa Scottoline's 'After Anna': Read the first four chapters," 10 Apr. 2018 With Archie Bradley, Andrew Chafin, Zack Godley and Randall Delgado all in the mix, the bullpen took the bull pen, filing in one at a time, as the numbers on the scale went up. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "Arizona Diamondbacks lineup faces heavy hitter: a 1,985-pound bull," 22 Mar. 2018 Now enter Ricketts from the Cubs' ownership bull pen to replace Wynn in the lead fund-raising position for the RNC. Ryan Smith, Chicago Reader, "News / Politics Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts to replace a Republican casino tycoon accused of sexual misconduct. No, not Trump. Another one.," 31 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bullpen.' 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 bullpen

1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bullpen

Dictionary Entries near bullpen



bull peep


bull pine



Statistics for bullpen

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bullpen

The first known use of bullpen was in 1809

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bullpen



English Language Learners Definition of bullpen

: a place on a baseball field where pitchers practice throwing the ball before they start pitching in a game
: the pitchers on a baseball team who can replace another pitcher during a game

Comments on bullpen

What made you want to look up bullpen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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