Advertisement
Legal Dictionary

bench

Legal Definition of bench

Noun

  1. A judge in court session

Definition of bench

Pronunciation

  • (UK, US) IPA: /bɛntʃ/, SAMPA: /bEntS/
  • Audio (US) [?]
  • Rhymes: -ɛntʃ

Etymology 1

    Old English benċ.

Noun

bench (plural benches)

  1. A long seat, for example, in the park.

    They sat on a park bench and tossed bread crumbs to the ducks and pigeons.

  2. (law) The people who decide on the verdict; the judiciary.

    They are awaiting a decision on the motion from the bench.

  3. (law, figuratively) The place where the judges sit.

    She sat on the bench for 30 years before she retired.

  4. (sports) The place where players sit when not playing.

    He spent the first three games on the bench, watching.

  5. A place where assembly or hand work is performed; a workbench.

    She placed the workpiece on the bench, inspected it closely, and opened the cover.

  6. (weightlifting) A horizontal padded surface, usually with a weight rack, used for support during exercise.

Derived terms

terms derived from bench (noun)

Verb

to bench (third-person singular simple present benches, present participle benching, simple past and past participle benched)

  1. (transitive, sports) To sideline; to remove a player from play.

    They benched him for the rest of the game because they thought he was injured.

  2. (transitive, figuratively) To remove someone from a position of responsibility temporarily.
  3. (slang) To push the victim back on the person behind them who is on their hands and knees and end up falling over.

Etymology 2

    From bench press by shortening.

Verb

to bench (third-person singular simple present benches, present participle benching, simple past and past participle benched)

  1. (transitive, weightlifting) To lift by bench pressing

    I heard he can bench 150 pounds.
    * 1988, Frederick C. Hatfield, "Powersource: Ties that bind", Ironman 47 (6): 21.
    For the first several years of my exclusive career in powerlifting, I couldn't bench too well.

Noun

bench (plural benches)

  1. (weightlifting) The weight one is able to bench press, especially the maximum weight capable of being pressed.

    He became frustrated when his bench increased by only 10 pounds despite a month of training.

Etymology 3

    See bentsh.

Verb

to bench (third-person singular simple present benches, present participle benching, simple past and past participle benched)

  1. Alternative spelling of bentsh.

Further reading

Bench in legal contexts means simply the location in a courtroom where a judge sits. The historical roots of that meaning come from the fact that judges formerly sat on long seats or benches (freestanding or against a wall) when presiding over a court. [1] In modern courtrooms, the bench is usually an elevated desk area that allows a judge to view the entire courtroom.

But the word also has a broader meaning in the law - the term "bench" is a metonymy used to describe members of the judiciary collectively, or the judges of a particular court, such as the Queen's Bench or the Common Bench in Great Britain, or the federal bench in the United States.[1] The term is also used when all the judges of a certain court sit together to decide a case, as in the phrase "before the full bench" (also called "en banc").[2] Additionally, the term is used to differentiate judges ("the bench") from attorneys or barristers ("the bar"). The phrase "bench and bar" denotes all judges and lawyers collectively.[1]

References

  1. a b c Walker, David (1980), Oxford Companion to Law, Oxford University Press, p. 123, ISBN 019866110X, http://books.google.com/books?id=4GgYAAAAIAAJ&pgis=1
  2. Black, Henry Campbell (1990). Black's Law Dictionary, 6th ed.. St. Paul, MN.: West Publishing. pp. p. 155. ISBN 031476271x.

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



SHARE THIS PAGE


TOP LEGAL TERMS THIS WEEK
1.     blackmail
2.     AORO
3.     Miranda warning
4.     adjudication order
5.     appellant
6.     stare decisis
7.     lex patriae
8.     vicarious liability
9.     precedent
10.     ratio decidendi