Word of the Day: bench

Word of the Day
March 22, 2016
bench (noun, verb)
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A couple sitting on a bench
A bench is a long seat for three or four people, often found in parks and public spaces. It is also a judge's seat and it is used figuratively as a symbol of a judge's power. In sports, it is the seat where the team members who are not playing sit. As a verb, in US English, to bench somebody means 'to remove somebody from a sports game,' but it is also used informally to mean 'to remove someone from any other situation.'

 

Example sentences
 
The three girls sat on the bench in the park to eat their lunch.
The judge entered the courtroom and sat on the bench.
That lady used to be a judge; she served on the bench for thirty years.
The substitutes were waiting on the bench, hoping they would get a chance to play.
The coach had to bench the midfielder after he committed three consecutive fouls.
The manager benched half of the sales team when he heard they'd been telling lies about the competition.

 

Words often used with bench
 
bench press: This is an exercise where someone lies on a bench and pushes a weight (called a barbell) up and down with their arms; this can also be a verb for the action of pushing the weight up and down. Colloquially, the verb can be shortened to just bench. Example: "I can bench 215 pounds."
 
Other forms
 
workbench: a sturdy (ie, extremely stable) table where an artisan works
 
Additional information
 
Bench also means 'to exhibit a dog at a dog show,' because the platform where the animals are placed during the show is also called a bench. Informally, in sports, bench can refer not just to the actual bench where the substitute players sit, but also the players themselves.
 
Did you know?
 
The long seats where politicians sit in the British Houses of Parliament are called benches. Senior politicians or spokespeople for their parties sit on the front bench (they are known as frontbenchers) and less senior members sit farther back, on the back benches (they are known as backbenchers). Frontbench and backbench are also used as adjectives to describe actions undertaken by the people who sit on the front or back benches. Example: "This frontbench policy has met with a lot of backbench opposition."
 
Origin
 
Bench dates back to before 1000 and comes from the Middle English and Old English word benc; it is a cognate with the Old Frisian word benk, the Old Saxon, Dutch, and Old High German word bank, and the Old Norse word bekkr.
 
 
 
 
 
Bench in other languages
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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