Between client engagements.

IT consultancies are companies who make their money by sending out their employees (programmers, DBAs, business analysts, etc.) to do software projects for their client companies, usually on-site at the client's office.

An employee who is "On the bench" is not on-site, but is sitting back at head office waiting for billable work. They might be doing something useful like self-training or working on an internal system, or they could be just slacking off and editing Urban Dictionary.

But either way, IT consultancies make money by billing their clients for the hours that their consultants spend there, so being "on the bench" costs the company money.

Being on the bench isn't the same as being unemployed - a person on the bench will still get their monthly salary. However, it may lessen their bonus or feed into decisions for who gets laid off. Consultants understandably become worried that nobody wants their skills if left on the bench for too long, especially if other consultants are in demand.

The phrase comes from an analogy from team sports like football or basketball - some of the team are on the field playing, and the rest are sitting on the bench waiting for their turn to go out and play.
John has been on the bench since he rolled off the Megacorp billing system project last week.
by CityNewt October 13, 2010
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Benching is when you start dating someone you think is nice and who has potential, but you're not crazy about them. You don't know wether to keep dating them, or dump them and move on to the next one. This is where benching happens; instead of going for either of the above polarized options, you put your date in your mental 'maybe' folder and 'bench them' so you date around to see what else is out there.
Sarah: How's your dating life going, Jill, weren't you seeing that guy Jack?
Jill: Yeah I am, sort of. He's just ok, so I've been benching him and dating around more.

John: Hey Jack, how are things going with that girl Jill you're dating?
Jack: Idk man, I know she's seeing other guys, and I think I've been benched.
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(Irish origin)For a girl to sit on a guys lap facing him while Making out
Girl 1 Did ya meet him at core(disco)

girl 2 yea I was benching him for ages
by Soph101 February 4, 2017
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to put a lot of effort into an activity no matter what it is (eg sports, project, study, gaming, eating)
Peter: Wait up Nick I'm so tired man i can't run anymore.

Nick: Pete don't think about it and just BENCH IT! the rest of the way.
by Nick Pley February 22, 2011
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the time spent photographing or watching graffiti on trains, more specifically passenger and freight trains.
we set up the grill and drank all day while we were out were out in milwaukee, benching by miller park
by fr8FOAMER November 28, 2007
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when you are already in a relationship, "the bench" is all the people that are interested in you and waiting for you guys to break up, so they can have have a shot. Also known as "second stringers."
I posted a pic of me today and all the guys from the bench like it. My boyfriend got jealous.
by bugattiprincess August 1, 2015
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For a girl to sit on a guy's lap facing him while they kiss.
'Were you guys standing or did you bench him?'
by sherlockedgirl April 6, 2015
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