Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Bench noun ; plural Benches [ Middle English bench , benk , Anglo-Saxon benc ; akin to Swedish bänk , Dan bænk , Icelandic bekkr , Old Saxon , D., & German bank . Confer Bank , Beach .]
1. A long seat, differing from a stool in its greater length.

Mossy benches supplied the place of chairs.
Sir W. Scott.

2. A long table at which mechanics and other work; as, a carpenter's bench .

3. The seat where judges sit in court.

To pluck down justice from your awful bench .
Shak.

4. The persons who sit as judges; the court; as, the opinion of the full bench . See King's Bench .

5. A collection or group of dogs exhibited to the public; -- so named because the animals are usually placed on benches or raised platforms.

6. A conformation like a bench; a long stretch of flat ground, or a kind of natural terrace, near a lake or river.

Bench mark (Leveling) , one of a number of marks along a line of survey, affixed to permanent objects, to show where leveling staffs were placed. -- Bench of bishops , the whole body of English prelates assembled in council. -- Bench plane , any plane used by carpenters and joiners for working a flat surface, as jack planes, long planes. -- Bench show , an exhibition of dogs. -- Bench table (Architecture) , a projecting course at the base of a building, or round a pillar, sufficient to form a seat.

Bench transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Benched ; present participle & verbal noun Benching .]
1. To furnish with benches.

'T was benched with turf.
Dryden.

Stately theaters benched crescentwise.
Tennyson.

2. To place on a bench or seat of honor.

Whom I . . . have benched and reared to worship.
Shak.

Bench intransitive verb To sit on a seat of justice. [ R.] Shak.

Bench mark (Leveling) Any permanent mark to which other levels may be referred. Specif. : A horizontal mark at the water's edge with reference to which the height of tides and floods may be measured.

Bench warrant (Law) A process issued by a presiding judge or by a court against a person guilty of some contempt, or indicted for some crime; -- so called in distinction from a justice's warrant .

Bencher noun
1. (Eng. Law) One of the senior and governing members of an Inn of Court.

2. An alderman of a corporation. [ Eng.] Ashmole.

3. A member of a court or council. [ Obsolete] Shak.

4. One who frequents the benches of a tavern; an idler. [ Obsolete]

Bend transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Bended or Bent ; present participle & verbal noun Bending .] [ Anglo-Saxon bendan to bend, from bend a band, bond, from bindan to bind. See Bind , transitive verb , and confer 3d & 4th Bend .]
1. To strain or move out of a straight line; to crook by straining; to make crooked; to curve; to make ready for use by drawing into a curve; as, to bend a bow; to bend the knee.

2. To turn toward some certain point; to direct; to incline. " Bend thine ear to supplication." Milton.

Towards Coventry bend we our course.
Shak.

Bending her eyes . . . upon her parent.
Sir W. Scott.

3. To apply closely or with interest; to direct.

To bend his mind to any public business.
Temple.

But when to mischief mortals bend their will.
Pope.

4. To cause to yield; to render submissive; to subdue. "Except she bend her humor." Shak.

5. (Nautical) To fasten, as one rope to another, or as a sail to its yard or stay; or as a cable to the ring of an anchor. Totten.

To bend the brow , to knit the brow, as in deep thought or in anger; to scowl; to frown. Camden.

Syn. -- To lean; stoop; deflect; bow; yield.

Bend intransitive verb
1. To be moved or strained out of a straight line; to crook or be curving; to bow.

The green earth's end
Where the bowed welkin slow doth bend .
Milton.

2. To jut over; to overhang.

There is a cliff, whose high and bending head
Looks fearfully in the confined deep.
Shak.

3. To be inclined; to be directed.

To whom our vows and wished bend .
Milton.

4. To bow in prayer, or in token of submission.

While each to his great Father bends .
Coleridge.

Bend noun [ See Bend , transitive verb , and confer Bent , noun ]
1. A turn or deflection from a straight line or from the proper direction or normal position; a curve; a crook; as, a slight bend of the body; a bend in a road.

2. Turn; purpose; inclination; ends. [ Obsolete]

Farewell, poor swain; thou art not for my bend .
Fletcher.

3. (Nautical) A knot by which one rope is fastened to another or to an anchor, spar, or post. Totten.

4. (Leather Trade) The best quality of sole leather; a butt. See Butt .

5. (Mining) Hard, indurated clay; bind.

6. plural (Medicine) same as caisson disease . Usually referred to as the bends .

Bends of a ship , the thickest and strongest planks in her sides, more generally called wales . They have the beams, knees, and foothooks bolted to them. Also, the frames or ribs that form the ship's body from the keel to the top of the sides; as, the midship bend .

Bend noun [ Anglo-Saxon bend . See Band , and confer the preceding noun.]
1. A band. [ Obsolete] Spenser.

2. [ Old French bende , bande , French bande . See Band .] (Her.) One of the honorable ordinaries, containing a third or a fifth part of the field. It crosses the field diagonally from the dexter chief to the sinister base.

Bend sinister (Her.) , an honorable ordinary drawn from the sinister chief to the dexter base.

Bendable adjective Capable of being bent.

Bender noun
1. One who, or that which, bends.

2. An instrument used for bending.

3. A drunken spree. [ Low, U. S.] Bartlett.

4. A sixpence. [ Slang, Eng.]

Bending noun The marking of the clothes with stripes or horizontal bands. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Bendlet noun [ Bend + - let : confer English bandlet .] (Her.) A narrow bend, esp. one half the width of the bend.

Bendwise adverb (Her.) Diagonally.

Bendy adjective [ From Bend a band.] (Her.) Divided into an even number of bends; -- said of a shield or its charge. Cussans.

Bene noun (Botany) See Benne .

Bene noun [ Anglo-Saxon bēn .] A prayer; boon. [ Archaic]

What is good for a bootless bene ?
Wordsworth.

Bene placito (bē`ne plăs"ĭ*to; Italian bā`na plä"che*to). [ Italian beneplacito pleasure, from Latin bene well + placitus pleasing.]
1. At or during pleasure.

For our English judges there never was . . . any bene placito as their tenure.
F. Harrison.

2. (Mus.) At pleasure; ad libitum.

Bene, Ben noun [ Native name.] (Zoology) A hoglike mammal of New Guinea ( Porcula papuensis ).

Beneaped adjective (Nautical) See Neaped .

Beneath preposition [ Middle English benethe , bineoðen , Anglo-Saxon beneoðan , benyðan ; prefix be- + neoðan , nyðan , downward, beneath, akin to English nether . See Nether .]
1. Lower in place, with something directly over or on; under; underneath; hence, at the foot of. " Beneath the mount." Ex. xxxii. 19.

Beneath a rude and nameless stone he lies.
Pope.

2. Under, in relation to something that is superior, or that oppresses or burdens.

Our country sinks beneath the yoke.
Shak.

3. Lower in rank, dignity, or excellence than; as, brutes are beneath man; man is beneath angels in the scale of beings. Hence: Unworthy of; unbecoming.

He will do nothing that is beneath his high station.
Atterbury.

Beneath adverb
1. In a lower place; underneath.

The earth you take from beneath will be barren.
Mortimer.

2. Below, as opposed to heaven, or to any superior region or position; as, in earth beneath .

Benedicite noun [ Latin , (imperative plural,) bless ye, praise ye.] A canticle (the Latin version of which begins with this word) which may be used in the order for morning prayer in the Church of England. It is taken from an apocryphal addition to the third chapter of Daniel.

Benedicite interj. [ See Benedicite , noun ] An exclamation corresponding to Bless you !.

Benedict adjective [ Latin benedictus , past participle of benedicere to bless. See Benison , and confer Bennet .] Having mild and salubrious qualities. [ Obsolete] Bacon.

Benedict, Benedick noun [ From Benedick , one of the characters in Shakespeare's play of "Much Ado about Nothing."] A married man, or a man newly married.

Benedictine adjective Pertaining to the monks of St. Benedict, or St. Benet.

Benedictine noun (Eccl. Hist.) One of a famous order of monks, established by St. Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century. This order was introduced into the United States in 1846.

» The Benedictines wear black clothing, and are sometimes called Black Monks . The name Black Fr............rs which belongs to the Dominicans, is also sometimes applied to the Benedictines.

Benediction noun [ Latin benedictio : confer French bénédiction . See Benison .]
1. The act of blessing.

2. A blessing; an expression of blessing, prayer, or kind wishes in favor of any person or thing; a solemn or affectionate invocation of happiness.

So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus
Followed with benediction .
Milton.

Homeward serenely she walked with God's benediction upon her.
Longfellow.

Specifically: The short prayer which closes public worship; as, to give the benediction .

3. (Eccl.) The form of instituting an abbot, answering to the consecration of a bishop. Ayliffe.

4. (R. C. Ch.) A solemn rite by which bells, banners, candles, etc., are blessed with holy water, and formally dedicated to God.

Benedictional noun A book of benedictions.

Benedictionary noun A collected series of benedictions.

The benedictionary of Bishop Athelwold.
G. Gurton's Needle.

Benedictive adjective Tending to bless. Gauden.

Benedictory adjective Expressing wishes for good; as, a b enedictory prayer. Thackeray.

Benedictus noun [ Latin , blessed. See Benedict , adjective ] The song of Zacharias at the birth of John the Baptist ( Luke i. 68 ); -- so named from the first word of the Latin version.

Benedight adjective Blessed. [ R.] Longfellow.

Benefaction noun [ Latin benefactio , from benefacere to do good to one; bene well + facere to do. See Benefit .]
1. The act of conferring a benefit. Johnson.

2. A benefit conferred; esp. a charitable donation.

Syn. -- Gift; present; gratuity; boon; alms.

Benefactor noun [ Latin ] One who confers a benefit or benefits. Bacon.

Benefactress noun A woman who confers a benefit.

His benefactress blushes at the deed.
Cowper.

Benefic adjective [ Latin beneficus . See Benefice .] Favorable; beneficent. Milton.

Benefice noun [ French bénéfice , Latin beneficium , a kindness , in Late Latin a grant of an estate, from Latin beneficus beneficent; bene well + facere to do. See Benefit .]


1. A favor or benefit. [ Obsolete] Baxter.

2. (Feudal Law) An estate in lands; a fief.

» Such an estate was granted at first for life only, and held on the mere good pleasure of the donor; but afterward, becoming hereditary, it received the appellation of fief , and the term benefice became appropriated to church livings.

3. An ecclesiastical living and church preferment, as in the Church of England; a church endowed with a revenue for the maintenance of divine service. See Advowson .

» All church preferments are called benefices , except bishoprics, which are called dignities . But, ordinarily, the term dignity is applied to bishoprics, deaneries, archdeaconries, and prebendaryships; benefice to parsonages, vicarages, and donatives.

Benefice transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Beneficed .] To endow with a benefice. [ Commonly in the past participle.]

Beneficed adjective Possessed of a benefice or church preferment. " Beneficed clergymen." Burke.

Beneficeless adjective Having no benefice. " Beneficeless precisians." Sheldon.

Beneficence noun [ Latin beneficentia , from beneficus : confer French bénéficence . See Benefice .] The practice of doing good; active goodness, kindness, or charity; bounty springing from purity and goodness.

And whose beneficence no charge exhausts.
Cowper.

Syn. -- See Benevolence .

Beneficent adjective Doing or producing good; performing acts of kindness and charity; characterized by beneficence.

The beneficent fruits of Christianity.
Prescott.

Syn. -- See Benevolent .

Beneficential adjective Relating to beneficence.

Beneficently (be*nĕf"ĭ*s e nt*lȳ) adverb In a beneficent manner; with beneficence.

Beneficial adjective [ Confer French bénéficial , Late Latin beneficialis .]
1. Conferring benefits; useful; profitable; helpful; advantageous; serviceable; contributing to a valuable end; -- followed by to .

The war which would have been most beneficial to us.
Swift.

2. (Law) Receiving, or entitled to have or receive, advantage, use, or benefit; as, the beneficial owner of an estate. Kent.

3. King. [ Obsolete] "A beneficial foe." B. Jonson.

Syn. -- See Advantage .

Beneficially adverb In a beneficial or advantageous manner; profitably; helpfully.