I. noun 1. a long seat for several people, typically made of wood or stone. • a park bench.
2. a long work table in a workshop or laboratory. • a 19th-century wheelwright’s bench.
3. a judge’s seat in a law court. 4. ( the bench) — the office of judge or magistrate • his appointment to the civil bench.
5. a judge or magistrate presiding over a particular case. 6.
(Brit.) a long seat in Parliament for politicians of a specified party
• the Conservative benches.
7. the politicians occupying a specified bench in Parliament • the pledge that was given by the Opposition benches yesterday.
8. ( the bench) — a seat at the side of a sports field for coaches, substitutes, and players not taking part in a game. • he must settle for a place on the substitute’s bench.
9. a flat ledge in masonry or on sloping ground. II. verb — [with obj.] 1. exhibit (a dog) at a show • Affenpinschers and Afghans were benched side by side.
[from the practice of exhibiting dogs on benches.]
(N. Amer.) withdraw (a sports player) from play
• the coach benched quarterback Cunningham in favour of McMahon.
3. short for bench-press. • he benched almost 500 pounds.
III. phrases on the bench a. appointed as or in the capacity of a judge or magistrate • he retired after twenty-five years on the bench.
b. acting as one of the possible substitutes in a sports match. • Robson will again be on the bench.
– origin Old English benc, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bank and German Bank, also to bank1.