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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 classic literature ?
On one of the back benches, remote in the subdued light and the strangeness of the place, sat the villainous whelp, sulky to the last, whom he had the misery to call his son.
`Chair!' and `Fair play!' A scuffle broke out in the back benches, and blows were freely exchanged among the medical students who crowded that part of the hall.
And lastly, seated on some of the back benches, where they had already taken up their positions for the evening, were divers unmarried ladies past their grand climacteric, who, not dancing because there were no partners for them, and not playing cards lest they should be set down as irretrievably single, were in the favourable situation of being able to abuse everybody without reflecting on themselves.
GWYNEDD Council's leader has announced a cabinet reshuffle after two longstanding members announced their intention to step down to the back benches.
The group was formed after a number of borough council Conservative councillors met in a Loughborough coffee house, to discuss ways of being heard from the "Back Benches".
In an apparent jibe at the provincial government, the MQM chief said that his party and the mayor are sitting on the back benches while someone else is running the affairs in Sindh.
Cameron had sat on the 'back benches' of parliament several times since he resigned the top job, but made little impact.
The ex-Chancellor (pictured inset) , exalted with a Companion of Honour award, now sits on the back benches while his policy sits in flames on the back burner.
It is timed to wrong-foot the SNP in the run-up to Holyrood elections next spring, to embarrass Labour in a leadership poll that may return anti-Trident Jeremy Corbyn, to pre-empt a Commons decision on the next generation of nuclear weapons and to placate the bombhappy hardliners sitting on the Tory back benches.
ED Miliband has dismissed rumours he will quit the Commons and has vowed to tackle inequality from the back benches.
But also he needs to swivel his head round and look to his own back benches. There he will see who really wants him out.
I am sure John will be just as active from the back benches speaking with passion and pure grit in the coming years.