bull pen

or bull·pen


  1. a place where relief pitchers warm up during a game.
  2. the relief pitchers on a team.
  1. a large cell or room, usually next to the courtroom, where prisoners are temporarily held.
  2. a large room in an office occupied by many employees.
any temporary or crowded quarters, as sleeping quarters in a lumber camp.
a pen for a bull or bulls.

Nearby words

  1. bull mastiff,
  2. bull moose,
  3. bull neck,
  4. bull nose,
  5. bull of the woods,
  6. bull riding,
  7. bull rope,
  8. bull run,
  9. bull run, battle of,
  10. bull session

Origin of bull pen

1800–10, Americanism for def 4; 1920–25 for def 1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bullpen

British Dictionary definitions for bullpen


/ (ˈbʊlˌpɛn) /


US informal a large cell where prisoners are confined together temporarily
baseball a part of a baseball field where relief pitchers warm up
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bullpen



also bull-pen, 1915, in the baseball sense, from bull (n.1) + pen (n.2); perhaps from earlier slang meaning "temporary holding cell for prisoners" (1809). Bullpen also was the name of a baseball-like game played in U.S. late 19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper