- the seat on which the players of a team sit during a game while not playing.
- thequality and number of the players of a team who are usually used as substitutes: A weak bench hurt their chances for the championship.
verb (used with object)
- serving as a judge in a court of law; presiding.
- Sports. (of a player) not participating in play, either for part or all of a game.
Origin of bench
Related formsbench·less, adjectiveun·bench, verb (used with object)
British Dictionary definitions for on the bench
- a judge or magistrate sitting in court in a judicial capacity
- judges or magistrates collectively
Word Origin for bench
Idioms and Phrases with on the bench (1 of 2)
on the bench
Presiding as judge in a law court, as in Lawyers are very careful when Judge Brown is on the bench. This usage alludes to the seat occupied by a judge. [Late 1200s]
Waiting for a chance to participate; also, removed from participation. For example, Mary complained that all her colleagues were going to the sales conference while she was left on the bench. This usage comes from baseball and other sports, where players not deemed ready or competent to play sit on a bench watching the game. [Early 1900s]
Idioms and Phrases with on the bench (2 of 2)
see on the bench; warm the bench.