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

Examples of bullpen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In what was a disastrous culmination of their relievers’ heavy recent workload, their patchwork bullpen game fell apart in the ninth inning. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 14 July 2024 The bullpen heroics helped the red-hot Mets extend their winning streak to five games. Peter Sblendorio, New York Daily News, 13 July 2024 The move also gives the Orioles extra bullpen depth until Povich is needed again. Taylor Lyons, Baltimore Sun, 13 July 2024 Puk is arbitration eligible for the second time after the season and will be an interesting case should his bullpen success continue. Craig Mish, Miami Herald, 8 July 2024 Corbin threw 91 pitches through five innings, forcing Martinez turn to a bullpen that already had been taxed; Friday was the eighth game in a stretch of 17 in 17 days before the all-star break. Andrew Golden, Washington Post, 6 July 2024 The Royals did damage against a leaky Rays bullpen. Jaylon Thompson, Kansas City Star, 5 July 2024 On the other hand, Cashman figures to be in competition with the Mets for bullpen help but now also may have to be in the market for corner infielders. Bill Madden, Hartford Courant, 1 July 2024 But the Dodgers’ bullpen didn’t even begin to stir until Patrick Bailey lined a two-run double to left for a 7-0 lead in the fourth. Mike Digiovanna, Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2024

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 21 Jul. 2024.

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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