Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words

front bench

noun, British.
(used with a singular verb) (in the House of Commons) either of two seats near the Speaker, on which the leaders of the major parties sit.
(used with a singular or plural verb) the leaders who occupy a front bench.
Compare back bench.
Origin of front bench
First recorded in 1890-95
Related forms
front bencher, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for front bench
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Some were hooded, some veiled, all clad in dark garments except one on the front bench, and she was dressed in white.

    The Rainbow Trail Zane Grey
  • A tenth passenger was seated by the side223 of the driver on the front bench.

    Carriages & Coaches Ralph Straus
  • Another friend told me that, a few days before, he had been riding on the front bench of a grip-car on a Chicago cable-line.

    Nuggets of the New Thought William Walker Atkinson,
  • But there seemed to be no seat vacant except on the front bench.

    Magnhild Dust Bjrnstjerne Bjrnson
  • A lithe youngster slipped off the front bench smiling and made his way behind the jury box.

    Mortmain Arthur Cheny Train
  • "There's room on the front bench," cackled the Marquis, shaking his sides.

  • The way to do this, we are told, is to fill the front bench in the House of Commons with the right sort of men.

  • When she sat on the front bench of the Brushwood schoolhouse, Pete had been one of the big boys at the back of the room.

    A Girl Of The Limberlost Gene Stratton Porter
  • The Conservatives occupy the benches at the speaker's left, the front bench being reserved for the leaders of the opposition.

    The Old World and Its Ways William Jennings Bryan
British Dictionary definitions for front bench

front bench

  1. the foremost bench of either the Government or Opposition in the House of Commons
  2. the leadership (frontbenchers) of either group, who occupy this bench
  3. (as modifier): a front-bench decision
the leadership of the government or opposition in various legislative assemblies
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for front bench

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for front

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for front bench