(redirected from Back bencher)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.


1. Chiefly British The rear benches in the House of Commons where junior members of Parliament sit behind government officeholders and their counterparts in the opposition party.
2. New members of Congress considered as a group.

back·bench′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Parliamentary Procedure) Brit and Austral and NZ a Member of Parliament who does not hold office in the government or opposition
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈbækˈbɛn tʃər, -ˌbɛn-)

a member of the British Parliament or a similar legislative body who is not a party leader.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.backbencher - a member of the House of Commons who is not a party leader
Britain, Great Britain, U.K., UK, United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland; `Great Britain' is often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom
legislator - someone who makes or enacts laws
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˌbækˈbɛntʃər] (British, Australian) ndéputé m membre du parlement sans portefeuille
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
A government back bencher today urged the Penang government to review two projects, namely the Penang South Reclamation Project (PSR) and the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) as the state has yet to achieve international status.
The more these egregious people carp the more they make Mrs May look like a political colossus; if I were a Tory back bencher I know who I'd vote for in a leadership election.
LABOUR back bencher Shami Chakrabarti sent her son to a private, very expensive, prep school in London.
"I was voted Back Bencher of the year in 2008, and someone does not get voted Back Bencher of the year by Members of all parties if they are a complete lickspittle."
And the 66-year-old told how Haughey tried to push a little-known back bencher on to the show - Taoiseach Brian Cowen.
The Labour back bencher has put down a Commons motion on the issue which appears on the Audit Paper, parliament's daily agenda sent to all MPs, ministers and senior civil servants.
The move only came after the intervention of Chancellor Gordon Brown a close friend of the outspoken back bencher.
Back bencher Janice Gregory (Labour, Ogmore) said Cardiff had benefited from high-profile events, but she said poorer areas had gained little.
The Labour back bencher attacked his own government's proposal for drivers caught just breaking the speed limit to receive two - instead of three points on their licence.
"Will you advise the House when we can expect a vote on a ban on hunting with dogs?" asked the back bencher during Prime Minister's Question Time.
MIDLANDERS who knew Jeff Rooker when the Birmingham MP was just a humble, Old Labour, back bencher may well remember a man who was proud of his DIY skills.
Fianna Fail back bencher Dennis Foley said the group richly deserves its place in history.