1. Also called anx'ious bench". Chiefly North Atlantic States and Southern and South Midland U.S.a seat reserved at a revival meeting for those troubled by conscience and eager for spiritual assistance.
2. a state of anxiety, esp. about the outcome of a vote, negotiation, etc.: Strikers have been in the anxious seat for the last three days.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.