front bench


Definition of front bench

: either of the two benches nearest the chair in a British legislature (such as the House of Commons) occupied by government and opposition leaders also : the leaders themselves — compare backbench

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Other Words from front bench

front-bencher \ ˈfrənt-​ˈben-​chər How to pronounce front-bencher (audio) \ noun

Examples of front bench in a Sentence

He challenged the views of his party's front bench.

Recent Examples on the Web

Minutes earlier, another senior Conservative, George Young, resigned from the front bench in the House of Lords in protest at Johnson's suspension of Parliament. Rob Picheta, CNN, "Backlash against Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament before Brexit," 29 Aug. 2019 Excluding the Scotland secretary and shadow-secretary, there are only three Scots on the front benches—Michael Gove and Liam Fox on the government side and Barry Gardiner on the Labour side—and none of them represents a Scottish seat. The Economist, "Leaving the EU is straining the union with Scotland," 29 June 2019 With an impressive front bench, a strong spread of candidates, youthful support and a good ground game, Sinn Fein is formidable on paper, yet a number of factors seem to be holding it back. The Economist, "A former voice of violence hopes to enter Ireland’s government," 22 June 2019 May defended her Brexit plan to lawmakers in the House of Commons on Monday, with Johnson absent from his usual place on the Conservative front bench. Danica Kirka, The Seattle Times, "Boris Johnson quits as UK’s May faces mounting Brexit crisis," 10 July 2018 Minutes after Johnson quit, May defended her Brexit plan to lawmakers in the House of Commons — with Johnson absent from his usual place on the Conservative front bench. Washington Post, "Boris Johnson quits UK government in mounting Brexit crisis," 9 July 2018 Powell was sacked from the Tories’ front bench—and still does. The Economist, "“Rivers of blood”: the lasting legacy of a poisonous speech," 19 Apr. 2018 The current Tory front bench is a row of exhausted molehills. The Economist, "Meet the Conservative Party’s new torchbearers," 7 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'front bench.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of front bench

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for front bench

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for front bench

The first known use of front bench was circa 1889

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More Definitions for front bench

front bench


English Language Learners Definition of front bench

British : the front row of seats on both sides in a British legislature (such as the House of Commons) where the leaders sit also : the leaders themselves

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with front bench

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ancient or antiquated

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