Definition of front bench in US English:

front bench


  • (in the UK) the foremost seats in the House of Commons, occupied by the members of the cabinet and shadow cabinet.

    as modifier ‘a front-bench spokesman on European affairs’
    • ‘Not the least of the Conservatives' victories on Thursday was their achievement in overcoming the potential public-relations disaster of losing one of their front-bench spokesmen the moment the polls closed.’
    • ‘Imagine being demoted, keeping a front-bench seat, and getting a pay increase at the same time!’
    • ‘But the House of Commons has become more of a front-bench system, particularly of the government front bench.’
    • ‘Debate is thus foreclosed in glib, prepared, often single-sentence replies that a trained front-bench speaker can issue as if from his own mammoth brain.’
    • ‘On 1 May, the senior front-bench spokesperson on defence for National delivered a planned and substantial speech to a regional party conference.’
    • ‘They are a very lacklustre bunch on both the front bench and the back benches.’
    • ‘Worse still, according to Phillip Johnston, is the prospect of a Tory front-bench spokesman clashing with a speaker representing a Scottish seat.’
    • ‘He is gone - dumped and demoted - but he has kept his front-bench seat.’
    • ‘I acknowledge the prowess of the members on the front bench of this Government - they are formidable.’
    • ‘They intend to secure ongoing involvement, not simply to be voting fodder for the front-bench team.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the front-bench members snuck in from the side and did not get their top-up.’
    • ‘The Prime Minister might think that health is important enough to have it has a front-bench portfolio, but being informed about it is not what she is demonstrating today.’
    • ‘There are now more former front-bench members of the National caucus than there are people currently sitting on the front bench.’
    • ‘He was an assured front-bench performer, which is a different thing from simply being an orator (although eloquence is a necessary component).’
    • ‘Last week his front-bench team signalled that their approach has more to do with representing business in traditional territory than going after Easterhouse voters.’
    • ‘Contrary to Labour policy, he voted against the Gulf war in 1990-a move that cost him his seat on the front bench.’
    • ‘The next test for Mr. Rudd occurs on Thursday when the make-up of the new front bench is decided.’
    • ‘I am a senior member of the National Party - a front-bench member.’
    • ‘It figured that New Zealanders do not like criminals, so the front-bench members will make their speeches against criminals.’
    • ‘The first front-bench reshuffle is expected by mid-week.’


front bench

/ˈˌfrənt ˈbenCH//ˈˌfrənt ˈbɛntʃ/