on the bench

on the bench

1. Acting as judge in a court case. I thought we had a good chance of winning, but Steinman is on the bench—there's no way he'll rule in our favor.
2. In team sports, waiting to participate or take one's turn. He's been on the bench all season due to problems with his hip. Samantha's on the bench; she's been practicing her swing, so hopefully she gets a chance to bat soon.
See also: bench, on

on the bench

 
1. [of a judge] directing a session of court. I have to go to court tomorrow. Who's on the bench? It doesn't matter who's on the bench. You'll get a fair hearing.
2. sitting, waiting for a chance to play in a game. (In sports, such as basketball, football, soccer, etc.) Bill is on the bench now. I hope he gets to play. John played during the first quarter, but now he's on the bench.
See also: bench, on

on the bench

1. 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]
2. 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]
See also: bench, on
References in classic literature ?
And he mounted on the bench to try and get a sight of her.
Two sisters, girls like herself, stopped to rest on the bench.
He took it from her hastily, caught up the one that was on the bench, and rushed away.
He stopped in the village at the priest's house in front of which stood the commander in chief's carriage, and he sat down on the bench at the gate awaiting his Serene Highness, as everyone now called Kutuzov.
Oh"--she murmured again, on a different note, as he stood looking down at her; and without rising she made a place for him on the bench.
It's like this, do you see: two sit on a bench-- they're the passengers; and one stands up straight on the bench.
They came to a gate, open and off its hinges, through which the road led out on the bench.
The Time Traveller put the lamp down on the bench, and ran his hand along the damaged rail.
Cer- tain vague desires that had been invading her body were swept away and she sat up very straight on the bench.
He threw himself on the bench and stared dully at the wood and the signs of work around him, wondering if he should ever come to feel pleasure in them again, while Gyp, dimly aware that there was something wrong with his master, laid his rough grey head on Adam's knee and wrinkled his brows to look up at him.
Now, at this talk all the good fellows on the bench grinned till their teeth glistened, and even the landlord could not forbear to smile.
And she pulled off her wet stockings and put her feet up on the bench, pressing them under her.
In the midst of this uproar, at the extremity of the tavern, on the bench inside the chimney, sat a philosopher meditating with his feet in the ashes and his eyes on the brands.
THE LORD JUSTICE CLERK,} LORD DRUMFENNICK, }Judges on the Bench.
Wish we could get him to come and sit on the bench sometimes, then," Lord Saxthorpe remarked heartily.