bull·​pen ˈbu̇l-ˌpen How to pronounce bullpen (audio)
 also  ˈbəl-
variants or less commonly bull pen
plural bullpens also bull pens
: 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
: a place on a baseball field where pitchers warm up before they start pitching
In the bullpen, Goose Gossage is warming up.Tony Scherman
: 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
: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Two batters later, Serruto clobbered the go-ahead home run into the Hoosiers' bullpen. Ryan Black, The Courier-Journal, 4 June 2023 Then, with two outs, catcher Peter Serruto came out of the 9-hole to mash a go-ahead three-run home run into Indiana's bullpen. Chloe Peterson, The Indianapolis Star, 4 June 2023 Rather than call up one of their Triple-A starters from a rotation that has helped lead the Norfolk Tides to one of the best records in the minor leagues, Baltimore elected to get through Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians by using its bullpen. Jacob Calvin Meyer, Baltimore Sun, 31 May 2023 Abraham Toro hit a two-run home run in the second to provide the early offense, and Owen Miller's two-run double in the seventh provided a cushion for the bullpen behind Teheran. Todd Rosiak, Journal Sentinel, 31 May 2023 Repeated bullpen implosions tend to make a manager’s hair turn gray, so be sure to check back on David Ross and Pedro Grifol at the end of the season. Lamond Pope, Chicago Tribune, 29 May 2023 With play starting on Tuesday, ASU elected to go with a bullpen game, ASU ended up losing 12-3 to Arizona. Jenna Ortiz, The Arizona Republic, 29 May 2023 Robinson couldn’t make it through three innings Wednesday before USD signaled the bullpen for reliever Conner Thurman. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 May 2023 Reds beat MarlinsFraley, Steer make up for mistakes with clutch hits in Reds win vs. Marlins Reds Mets'Everyone has a path': Ben Lively's long journey pays off with a Reds win over the Mets With so many moving pieces, the Reds had a bullpen game last Thursday in a win over the New York Mets. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 13 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bullpen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bullpen was in 1809

Dictionary Entries Near bullpen

Cite this Entry

“Bullpen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bullpen. Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

bull pen

: a large cell where prisoners are held until brought into court
: a place on a baseball field where relief pitchers warm up
: the relief pitchers of a team
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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