Definition of plebiscite in English:

plebiscite

Syllabification: pleb·i·scite
Pronunciation: /ˈplebəˌsīt
 
/

noun

1The direct vote of all the members of an electorate on an important public question such as a change in the constitution.
More example sentences
  • The leading business association even advocated a ‘no’ vote in the 1999 plebiscite on the new constitution.
  • This involves not one but three votes in two plebiscites and one federal referendum - and heaven knows how many state votes.
  • There could be no question of a plebiscite on a constitution, after what had happened in Piedmont, and Napoleon was not one to waste time with constituent assemblies.
Synonyms
1.1 Roman History A law enacted by the plebeians' assembly.
More example sentences
  • Dionysius can cite a plebiscite of 492 protecting a tribune from interruption at a public meeting,
  • From then on legislation was formulated more and more by means of plebiscites.

Origin

mid 16th century (referring to Roman history): from French plébiscite, from Latin plebiscitum, from plebs, pleb- 'the common people' + scitum 'decree' (from sciscere 'vote for'). The sense 'direct vote of the whole electorate' dates from the mid 19th century.

Derivatives

plebiscitary

Pronunciation: /pləˈbisiˌterē/
adjective
More example sentences
  • Furthermore, the plebiscitary presidency is dependent upon the creation of ‘spectacles’ that encourage awestruck citizens to become passive spectators rather than active participants in politics.
  • Twentieth-century totalitarians - fascists and communists - felt constrained to bow toward popular sovereignty with plebiscitary forms.
  • The Good Friday agreement's plebiscitary clauses in Northern Ireland are also rife with inflammatory possibilities, jeopardizing the losers' future.

Definition of plebiscite in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day brannigan
Pronunciation: ˈbranigən
noun
a brawl or violent argument