[bak-ben-cher, -ben-]


any of the members of a legislature, especially of the House of Commons of Great Britain, but not including the leaders of the parties.

Origin of backbencher

First recorded in 1905–10; back bench + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for backbencher

Contemporary Examples of backbencher

  • In truth, Gingrich was a backbencher during the Reagan years, lobbing bombshells at the White House in addition to Democrats.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Reagan's Party No More

    Eleanor Clift

    September 1, 2011

British Dictionary definitions for backbencher



British, Australian and NZ a Member of Parliament who does not hold office in the government or opposition
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

Word Origin and History for backbencher

1874 in the House of Commons sense, from back (adj.) + bench (n.); occupants of the rear seats being the least-prominent politicians.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper