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benchwarmer

or bench warm·er, bench-warm·er

[bench-wawr-mer]
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noun Sports.
  1. a substitute who rarely gets to play in a game.

Origin of benchwarmer

First recorded in 1890–95; bench + warmer
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bench-warmer

Historical Examples

  • He may not even be called a bench-warmer—the bench is already warm.

    Prowling about Panama

    George A. Miller


Word Origin and History for bench-warmer

n.

1892, baseball slang; see bench.

The days for "bench-warmers" with salaries are also past. ["New York Sporting News," Jan. 9, 1892]

Old English had bencsittend "one who sits on a bench."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper