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or bench warmer, bench-warmer

[bench-wawr-mer] /ˈbɛntʃˌwɔr mər/
noun, Sports.
a substitute who rarely gets to play in a game.
Origin of benchwarmer
1890-95; bench + warmer Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bench-warmer
Historical Examples
  • He may not even be called a bench-warmer—the bench is already warm.

    Prowling about Panama George A. Miller
Word Origin and History for bench-warmer

1892, baseball slang; see bench.

The days for "bench-warmers" with salaries are also past. ["New York Sporting News," Jan. 9, 1892]
Old English had bencsittend "one who sits on a bench."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bench-warmer


noun phrase

A person not among the most active and important members of an enterprise; esp a substitute athlete who seldom plays (1880s+ Theater)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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