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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for front bench

  • But he did not modify his front-bench attitude; it was only the well-known eyebrows that rose.

    The Crime Doctor|Ernest William Hornung

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